Ethiopia export income drops 38%

Ethiopia earned export revenue of $1.21 billion in six months of the current Ethiopian fiscal year (July, 8, 2018 to January 7, 2019).

Though the plan of the government for period was 1.96 billion, it has only achieved about 62% of its target, according to the report of the Ministry of Trade of Ethiopia. The Ministry has presented its report to the Parliament this morning.

Compared to the previous year same period the income has declined by 10%. 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, who presented her report to the parliament, indicated that the instability witnessed in some parts of the country has also contributed to the decline of export income, along with the usual reasons officials has been talking about for the past several years.

One of the reasons the officials often mention has been failure of increasing productivity and reliant of raw agricultural commodities. Contraband border trade across and lack of meaningful diversification of export items has also been often mentioned as the poor performance of Ethiopia’s export sector.

Lack of inputs for the manufacturing companies, which often couldn’t get the hard currency on time is also mentioned as failure of the emerging manufacturing sector of Ethiopia to generate export earnings.

While Ethiopia’s export income has been declining, on the contrary the country’s spending for import has been growing surpassing $17 billion last. As a result, the growing trade deficit, Ethiopia has been facing 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 (stimulant plant), fruits, vegetables, minerals such as gold and tantalum, gemstones as well as, some manufactured goods.

On the other hand, the major hard currency consuming products Ethiopia has been importing include fuel, different machines, medicines, steal, manufactured goods including foods as well as simple products such as, toothpicks and candies and cookies.