Mozambique flag Mozambique: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Mozambique

Foreign Trade in Figures

Mozambique is open to foreign trade, which represents more than 116% of the country's GDP (World Bank, 2019). It is a member of the WTO, and of the South African Development Community (SADC), and has signed trade agreements with Malawi and Zimbabwe. In February 2018, Mozambique joined the EU–SADC EPA that was signed in June 2016 by Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. The country also signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. The government seeks to reform its trade regulations to improve its business climate and encourage exports. Customs duties remain high and there are numerous non-tariff barriers in the country (such as slow customs clearance procedures). The country primarily exports natural resources (aluminium, coke and coal, electrical energy, hydrocarbons, titanium, gemstones), tobacco and sugar. Mozambique imports hydrocarbons, metal products (aluminium), electrical energy, vehicles, boats, foodstuffs (rice, wheat, and fish), cements and medications.

Mozambique's main customers are South Africa, India, the United Kingdom, China, Italy and the Netherlands. Its main suppliers are South Africa, China, India, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Portugal (Comtrade). Mozambique could become one of the largest exporters of natural gas in the world by 2024 (the country is home to the third largest reserve in Africa) thanks to the discovery of new reserves. The planned construction of natural gas power plants as well as the construction of a new dam should allow the country to increase its exports of electricity to neighboring countries. Export infrastructure (railways, deep water ports, liquefied natural gas plants) is also under construction, and will support exports of natural gas and coal to Asia. However, the Islamist insurgency in Cabo Delgado, a key region for gas production, will delay LNG projects.

Mozambique's trade balance is negative and is expected to remain negative until exports of coal and gas to Asia develop. It increased recently due the capital goods imports related to reconstruction and liquefied natural gas projects. In 2020, merchandise imports decreased to USD 6.47 billion, while exports slowed down to USD 3.59 billion. Imports of services reduced to USD 2.38 billion, while exports only reached USD 764 million (WTO). The trade deficit in goods amounted to USD -2.29 billion, and it reached USD -4.03 billion including services (World Bank). In 2022, a rebound in coal and aluminium exports is expected, and the start of LNG production at the Coral South offshore site should strengthen exports from June 2022 (Coface). Capital goods imports are expected to increase but the suspension of LNG projects could impact imports.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 5,2955,7456,9447,4286,471
Exports of Goods (million USD) 3,3554,7255,0124,6693,589
Imports of Services (million USD) 3,2032,9634,3222,7802,384
Exports of Services (million USD) 422658779931764

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 105.699.7127.2116.5n/a
Trade Balance (million USD) -1,405-498-973-2,084-2,294
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -4,106-2,830-4,543-3,971-4,028
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 8.0-12.943.40.0n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -6.13.947.9-10.7n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 72.161.182.375.5n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 33.538.644.941.0n/a

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) -9.824.327.83.02.2
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 0.30.541.69.74.9

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Member of Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Member of African Union

Member of Cotonou Agreement

Member of African Growth and Opportunity Act beneficiary country

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
South Africa 21.1%
India 12.2%
United Kingdom 10.8%
China 7.4%
Italy 6.9%
See More Countries 41.6%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
South Africa 29.3%
China 10.8%
India 9.6%
United Arab Emirates 6.7%
Singapore 5.6%
See More Countries 38.0%

Source: Comtrade, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

3.5 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Unwrought aluminiumUnwrought aluminium 28.0%
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels...Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels manufactured from coal 17.1%
Electrical energyElectrical energy 10.7%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 6.7%
Titanium ores and concentratesTitanium ores and concentrates 5.2%
See More Products 32.3%
6.4 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 10.9%
Fluorides; fluorosilicates, fluoroaluminates and...Fluorides; fluorosilicates, fluoroaluminates and other complex fluorine salts 4.3%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.9%
RiceRice 3.9%
Wheat and meslinWheat and meslin 3.3%
See More Products 73.7%

Source: Comtrade, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: April 2022

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