Ivory Coast flag Ivory Coast: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of the Ivory Coast

Foreign Trade in Figures

The Ivory Coast is the hub of commercial activities in West Africa. The share of foreign trade in the country's GDP is 52% (World Bank, latest available data). Exports are primarily composed of industrial agriculture and exports (40.1%), mining products (17.8%), manufactured products (20%), and first-stage processed products (18.3%). In detail, exports are dominated by cocoa (processed and unprocessed, accounting for 30.2% of total sales), gold (11.9%), petroleum products and crude oil (18.5%), natural rubber (11.4%), and cashew nuts (6%). The main imported products are petroleum products (including crude oil), accounting for 26.8% of imports. Following that are imports of mechanical machinery (6.93%), and iron, steel, and related metal products (5.75%). Among food products, rice (4.65%) and fresh fish (4.23%) are the two main items (data French Ministry of Economy for 2022).

The Ivory Coast is a member of the UEMOA (West African Economic and Monetary Union), which enforces a Common External Tariff (CET). It also belongs to the Free Trade Zone. In 2008, the Ivory Coast signed a stepping stone economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU). This agreement entered into provisional application on 3 September 2016 and essentially aims at maintaining the preferential trade system that exists between the EU and the Ivory Coast (Nigeria is the only country in the region that has is yet to sign the EPA, which is why the agreement is not yet applied). It will be replaced by the regional EU-West Africa EPA. Ivory Coast is also a signatory to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.  According to Comtrade, the country's main export partners in 2022 were Mali (8.9%), the Netherlands (8.7%), Switzerland (8.1%), the United States (5.3%), Burkina Faso (5.2%), and France (4.5%); whereas imports came chiefly from China (14.4%), Nigeria (12.1%), France (6.7%), India (5.2%), and the United States (4.7%).

The Ivory Coast has a structurally positive trade balance; however, the country’s recorded a deficit in 2022, when it exported USD 16.4 billion worth of goods while it imported for USD 17.9 billion (+7.2% and +28.1% y-o-y, respectively). The raise in imports was influenced by rising energy prices. Concerning services, exports stood at USD 958 million while imports totalled USD 9.8 billion. The World Bank estimated the trade deficit at 2.6% of GDP (from a surplus of 0.1% one year earlier). According to preliminary figures from the Ivorian Customs, exports saw a rapid growth, reaching XOF 12,301 billion in 2023, marking a clear rise compared to the XOF 9,204 billion of the previous year. Similarly, imports also rose, increasing from XOF 10,070 billion to XOF 11,451 billion during the same period. The primary drivers of export growth in 2023 were cocoa beans and their derivatives, petroleum products, crude gold, and natural rubber, collectively representing 70.1% of total exports.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 10,48310,52713,96617,88918,887
Exports of Goods (million USD) 12,71812,45415,33416,42920,263
Imports of Services (million USD) 3,4033,1423,9243,858n/a
Exports of Services (million USD) 1,162732910958n/a

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 46.044.541.145.152.3
Trade Balance (million USD) 2,2033,1512,9823,053n/a
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -9991057240n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 4.42.76.113.46.8
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -3.79.010.710.610.2
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 23.321.520.122.527.5
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 22.723.021.022.624.8

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 3.3-3.710.49.07.7
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 7.77.05.85.95.7

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Côte d'Ivoire is a member of the Economic Commmunity of West African States (ECOWAS), and of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
Mali 8.9%
Netherlands 8.7%
Switzerland 8.1%
United States 5.3%
Burkina Faso 5.2%
See More Countries 63.8%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
China 14.4%
Nigeria 12.1%
France 6.7%
India 5.2%
United States 4.7%
See More Countries 56.9%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

16.4 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Cocoa beans, whole or broken, raw or roastedCocoa beans, whole or broken, raw or roasted 19.5%
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 12.4%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 11.7%
Natural rubber, balata, gutta-percha, guayule,...Natural rubber, balata, gutta-percha, guayule, chicle and similar natural gums, in primary forms or in plates, sheets or strip 11.4%
Coconuts, Brazil nuts and cashew nuts, fresh or...Coconuts, Brazil nuts and cashew nuts, fresh or dried, whether or not shelled or peeled 6.1%
See More Products 39.0%
17.9 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 13.4%
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 10.7%
RiceRice 4.5%
Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish...Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 4.1%
Light-vessels, fire-floats, dredgers, floating...Light-vessels, fire-floats, dredgers, floating cranes, and other vessels the navigability of which is subsidiary to their main function; floating docks, floating or submersible drilling or production platforms (excl. fishing vessels and warships) 3.6%
See More Products 63.7%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

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Latest Update: April 2024

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