According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS), Egypt’s exports to African countries increased in value by $100 million from January to September 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
The value of exports in these nine months reached $3.4 million as opposed to $3.3 million the year before.
The total value of Egyptian exports to Africa in 2018 reached approximately $4.8 million compared to $3.6 million in 2017, an increase of approximately 30 per cent and representing 16.2 per cent of Egypt's total exports, according to a report by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The list of Egyptian exports to Africa included 30 commodities, the most important being plastics with a value of $354 million, iron and steel valued at $215.8 million, electrical appliances, tools and spare parts with a value of $160.9 million, and $139.4 million worth of sugar.
The report said that the exports also included paper and paper products at $134 million, yarns, ropes and rope materials worth $132 million, and fertilisers worth $101.5 million.
It said that exports of vegetables and fruit had recorded around $98 million, while the exports of pharmaceutical products and medicines had reached around $56 million. Exports of ceramics amounted to around $88 million, and exports of stone, cement or asbestos recorded around $76 million, the report said.
Exports of furniture, furniture accessories, lighting devices and photovoltaic panels all recorded around $43 million, according to the report, while exports of carpets and floor coverings reached around $32 million.
According to the report, exports of cars, tractors, bicycles and other vehicles, as well as parts and accessories, reached around $23 million.
Algeria topped the list of African countries in terms of the destinations of Egyptian exports in 2018, with a total value of around $977 million, followed by Libya at around $633 million, Morocco at around $499 million, Tunisia at around $497 million, and Sudan at around $397 million.
Egyptian imports from the African countries increased to reach $2.1 billion during 2018, compared to $1.9 billion in 2017, an increase of 15.2 per cent, the report said.
Algeria also came at the top of the list of African countries that Egypt imported commodities from during 2018, with the value of Egyptian imports from the North African country amounting to approximately $398 million, followed by Kenya at around $287 million, Zambia at $261 million, Sudan at around $208 million, and South Africa at around $194 million.
The volume of trade exchange between Egypt and the African countries increased to $6.9 billion in 2018, compared to $5.6 billion in 2017, an increase of 23 per cent, according to CAPMAS.
The African Continental Free-Trade Agreement (AFCFTA), which entered into force in May 2019 aiming to create a single continental market for goods and services, aims to ease and strengthen trade relations between Egypt and Sub-Saharan Africa.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 30 January, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly under the title: Higher exports to Africa