The Profile of Ethiopia’s Export-Import Trade

The Profile of Ethiopia’s Export-Import Trade

• Ethiopia is the 117th largest export economy in the world. In 2016, Ethiopia exported $3.13 billion and imported $17.9billion, resulting in a negative trade balance of $14.8 billion. Ethiopia’s export is predominantly agricultural; industrial sector is upcoming with development of textiles, leather processing, etc… to diversify export sector in the near future.
• The top exports of Ethiopia (2016/2017) are Coffee (25%), Oil Seeds(14%), Gold(11%), Dried Legumes /አደንጓሬ፣ ምስር ወዘተ ዝሪያዎች (8.7%), Live Trees, Plants, Cut Flowers (7.8%), Gems, precious metals (4.4%), Meat /sheep & goat (3.4%), Hides & Skins, not fur skins, Leather (2.6%), Live Animals (2.2%), Footwear (1.6%) using the 1992 revision of the HS (Harmonized System) classification.
• The top Export destinations of Ethiopia (2018) are China, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Germany, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Somalia, Japan, Djibouti, Belgium, Israel, Vietnam, Kenya and Italy.
• Its top imports are Refined Petroleum, telephones, Delivery Trucks, Gas Turbines, Packaged Medicaments and Mixed Mineral or Chemical Fertilizers.
• The top import origins are China, the United States, Kuwait, India, Japan and Italy.
• Over 80 per cent of Ethiopia’s export-import route is via the port of Djibouti.
• Ethiopia enjoys Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) given by the Russian Federation for Less Developed Countries through the declaration issued on 01 October 2008. The generosity is further expanded with the decision of the Council of Eurasian Economic Commission on January 13, 2017 (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kirgizstan are member countries of the Commission).
• This declaration provides free duty free import of Ethiopian products such as pulses, coffee, cotton, vegetables, flower, plants used for decoration of flowers, pharmaceutical and food preparation and manufacturing products as sugar, leather and textiles to member countries.
• Suppliers are required to meet quality standards specified by the Russian pertinent bodies for the products to enter into the market. In addition to this, original copy of Certificate of Origin of the products approved and signed by the appropriate Ethiopian Customs Duty officials should be attached to the products upon shipment.
Ethiopia - the Origin of Coffee (HS Code 0901)
• Coffee was first discovered in a district known as Kafa, in South Western part of Ethiopia, where it was grown as a wild crop in the natural forest.
• The tradition of coffee drinking, coffee culture goes back dozens of centuries; and thus Ethiopia is the only country in Africa where half of the product is locally consumed. Other African growers mainly cultivate coffee for export.
• Of two major known coffee beans (Arabica, Robusta) and the other two less known types (Liberica, Excelsa), coffee Arabica grows in Ethiopia.
• Arabica also grows in Uganda and Kenya in Africa, Colombia, Honduras, Peru Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica in Central and Latin American sub-Continent and in India, Indonesia, China and Vietnam in Asia.
• Many Coffee Arabica varieties are grown in Ethiopia, of which Yirgachefe brand is known for its’ intense flavor, fine acidity and rich body. Other Ethiopian brands are also preferred for their unique taste and flavor. Harar, Sidama, Limmu, Tepi, Jimma and Lekemit are some varieties to mention. In addition to a pleasant aroma, Ethiopian green coffee beans are organic and used most of the time for blending to meet the desires of the consumers.
• Ethiopia is the world's sixth largest producer in total coffee production, fourth in Coffee Arabica production (2017/18) and Africa's top producer and accounts for about 3-4% of the global market. The total area used for coffee cultivation is estimated to be about 4,000 km2 (1,500 sq. miles),
• Coffee also makes up significant contribution to the country’s export, about 24-25% of foreign exchange earnings.
• Major Ethiopia coffee importers are Germany, USA, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Italy, France, Sweden, Japan, UK, Sudan, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Spain and Russia.
• An estimated 15 million Ethiopians derive their livelihood through Coffee cultivation or production.
• Ethiopia’s Arabica production for 2017/2018 was 7.5 million bags (60 kg per bag), and Brazil the top producer accounted for 38.5 million bags for the same period. Interested importers can contact individual exporters or Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association (Tel +251 11 4664592, E-mail Web Site www. directly or through Ethiopian Embassy-Moscow.
Oil Seeds and Pulses
Oil Seeds (HS Code ----)
Ethiopia has extremely variable agro-climatic conditions and major ecological systems that are suitable for diverse genetic resources. In the agro-ecological zones, small-scale subsistence farming is widely practiced in the highlands, plateaus and large tracts of plains. The agro-climatic conditions allowed farmers to raise crops and cereals of several biodiversity. Oil seeds from Ethiopia such as Sesame seeds, Niger Buy Cialis Pills seeds, Mustard seed, Pumpkin seed, Sunflower, Rapeseed, Castor seeds and Ground Nuts are taken as specialty high value seeds on the international market.
Pulses (HS Code 0713)
• Twelve Pulses species are grown in Ethiopia. Fava bean, Field pea, Chickpea, Grass pea, Lentils, Fenu greek and Lupine are categorized as Highland Pulses. Haricot bean, Soya bean, Cowpea, Pigeon pea and Mung beans are commonly grown in warmer lowlands. Fava bean also known as Horse bean constitute the larger proportion of the products.
• Oil seeds, Pulses and Spices are produced for both export and domestic market (Ethiopian Pulses Oil seeds Spices Processors-Exporters Association/EPOSPEA; Tel +251 11662 35 45/56E-mail,, website
Flower Industry in Ethiopia (HS Code 060310-060390)
• Africa’s total cut flower production is worth USD 1.4 billion annually and accounts for 17 percent of the global flower trade (2016/2017). Cut flowers account for 12 percent of Kenyan export revenues and 11 percent of Ethiopian export revenues. Kenya provides 7 percent of the global market share for cut flowers, while Ethiopia accounts for 2 percent. The industry is estimated to have created over 180,000 jobs, of which 85 percent are women.
• The Netherlands imports 80 percent of Ethiopian flower and 46 percent of Kenyan production. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the next largest importers of Ethiopian cut flower exports with 7.8 percent and 3.7 percent respectively. Ethiopia’s flower enters the Russian market indirectly through the Netherlands.
• Russia also imports significant amount of flowers from the world market, but Ethiopia’s cut flower (HS Code- 0603) market share is fractional at present.
• There is great opportunity for both sides to expand business ties and exploit the market potential in Moscow Ethiopia’s flower with the recent resumption of direct Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa- Moscow.
• The Russian flower importers can thus contact our Embassy or Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters’ Association (EHPEA), establish business relation and access the flower market (Tel + 251 11 663 676, Fax + 251 11 663 67 53, E-mail,

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