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 100% of the country's GDP (World Bank, 2021). 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 coal (21.1% of total exports), aluminium (13.4%), electrical energy (8.9%), titanium (6.6%), coke (6.5%), bars of aluminium (5.8%), petroleum gas (5.7%), dried vegetables (3%) and tobacco. Mozambique imports hydrocarbons (12.2% of total imports), rice (4.4%), fluorides (3.6%), palm oil (3.4%), wheat (2.9%), motor vehicles (2.6%), electrical energy (2.5%) and medicines (2.5%) (Comtrade, 2021).

Mozambique's main customers are South Africa (16.7% of total exports), India, the Netherlands, China, India, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. Its main suppliers are South Africa (26.1% of total imports), China, India, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Portugal (Comtrade, 2021). 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, is delaying LNG projects.

Mozambique's trade balance is negative and is expected to remain negative until exports of coal and gas to Asia develop. Trade deficit increased recently due the capital goods imports related to reconstruction and liquefied natural gas projects. In 2021, merchandise imports increased to USD 8.6 billion (from USD 6.5 billion in 2020), while exports increased to USD 5.6 billion (from USD 3.6 billion in 2020). Imports of services increased to USD 2.5 billion (from USD 2.4 billion in 2020), while exports remained stable at only USD 761 million (WTO). The trade deficit in goods amounted to USD -2.25 billion, and it reached USD -3.99 billion including services (World Bank).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 6,9447,4286,4718,61814,665
Exports of Goods (million USD) 5,0124,6693,5885,5838,281
Imports of Services (million USD) 4,3102,7622,7782,5572,575
Exports of Services (million USD) 7799317818221,128

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 127.2112.095.1100.2n/a
Trade Balance (million USD) -1,301-2,084-2,294-2,252-5,056
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -4,831-3,914-4,291-3,987-6,503
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 43.4-1.5-22.42.8n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 47.9-9.5-27.07.5n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 82.379.765.768.8n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 44.932.329.331.4n/a

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) -2.14.23.21.126.9
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -18.147.511.35.3-3.2

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)
2022
India 21.1%
South Africa 13.6%
United Kingdom 11.9%
South Korea 6.1%
China 5.2%
See More Countries 42.2%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
South Korea 32.0%
South Africa 15.6%
United Arab Emirates 10.0%
China 7.2%
India 5.7%
See More Countries 29.4%

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

 
 

Main Products

8.3 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels...Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels manufactured from coal 24.3%
Unwrought aluminiumUnwrought aluminium 19.8%
Coke and semi-coke of coal, of lignite or of peat,...Coke and semi-coke of coal, of lignite or of peat, whether or not agglomerated; retort carbon 10.3%
Electrical energyElectrical energy 6.9%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 6.9%
See More Products 31.9%
14.7 bn USD of products imported in 2022
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) 31.8%
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 15.5%
Fluorides; fluorosilicates, fluoroaluminates and...Fluorides; fluorosilicates, fluoroaluminates and other complex fluorine salts (excl. inorganic or organic compounds of mercury) 3.5%
RiceRice 2.2%
Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined...Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 1.9%
See More Products 45.2%

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

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Latest Update: December 2023

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