Export decline continues

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Ethiopia’s revenue from exports continued to decrease as the country failed to hit its target for the just completed fiscal year. The country earned only 2.67 billion USD.
Though the government planned to earn 4.32 billion USD from exports, it achieved only 61 percent of its target.
Ministry of Trade and Industry’s communication director Wendimu Flate said that the underperformance in meat, dairy products, spices, leather and leather products, cattle, inputs of some chemicals, construction and mining especially gold exports achieved below 50 percent of their target.
Agriculture contributed 74 percent of the exported share which is 2.1 billion USD while manufacturing and mining contributed 453.60 and 46.18 million USD in revenue respectively.
“The manufacturing and mining sector’s underperformance really hurt us,” Wendimu said.
In terms of export destination by country the USA takes the lead followed by Somalia and the Netherlands out of the 146 trade partners.
The failure of increasing productivity and reliance of raw agricultural commodities in addition to the contraband border trade across the country and lack of meaningful diversification of export items has been often mentioned as a reason for the poor performance of Ethiopia’s export sector.
Lack of input for the manufacturing companies, which often couldn’t get hard currency on time and power shortages are reasons for manufacturing’s struggle.
The countries export performance has begun to decrease starting from 2016, where goods with a value of around 3.16 billion USD were exported from Ethiopia followed by export performance that registered 2.83 billion USD in 2017.
The Ministry plans to earn 4.69 billion USD for this fiscal year. Agriculture will still be relied on the most at 3.2 billion USD, which is 70 percent of the total exports.