Ethiopia earns $1.21b from exports in Q2

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Ethiopia earns $1.21 billion in export revenue within six months of the current Ethiopian fiscal year, which ended January 7, 2019.

Presenting a mid-year performance report to the parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Fetle Gebregziabher, said the revenue represents 62% of its target of $1.96 billion.

Compared to the previous year same period, revenue has declined by 10%. According to the minister, Ethiopian export income has been declining over the past several years, from around $3.1 billion in 2010 to around $2.8 billion last year.

The minister attributed the decline to the instability witnessed in some parts of the country, failure of productivity and reliance on raw agricultural commodities.

Contraband border trade and lack of meaningful diversification of export items has also been often mentioned as responsible for the poor performance of Ethiopia’s export sector.

Lack of inputs for the manufacturing companies, which often suffers from timely acquisition of hard currency is also mentioned as hindering Ethiopia’s emerging manufacturing sector in generating export earnings.

While Ethiopia’s export income has been declining, the country’s spending on imports has been growing, and surpassed $17 billion last year.

As a result of the growing trade deficit, Ethiopia has been facing an acute shortage of foreign currency to import medicines and fuel, among others.

The major export earning commodities of Ethiopia include coffee, oil seeds such as sesame, flower, Khat, fruits, vegetables, minerals such as gold and tantalum, gemstones, as well as some manufactured goods.

The major items Ethiopia imports with hard currency include fuel, different machines, medicines, steal, manufacturing goods, as well as foodstuff and such simple products as consumable such as toothpicks, candies and cookies.


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