Senegal flag Senegal: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Senegal

Foreign Trade in Figures

Senegal is an open economy where foreign trade accounts for 80% of its GDP (World Bank's latest available data). According to Comtrade, in 2022, the country’s main exports were petroleum oils (17.8%), gold (16.3%), diphosphorus pentoxide and phosphoric acid (13.2%), frozen fish (excl. fish fillets, 4.8%), and molluscs (3.8%). Meanwhile, main imports included petroleum oils (27.9%), rice (4.6%), wheat and meslin (3.1%), and light-vessels (3.1%).

The country's main export destinations in 2022 were Mali (19.9%), India (15.2%), Switzerland (11.6%), China (4.0%), and Australia (3.9%); whereas imports came chiefly from China (10.0%), France (9.2%), India (7.5%), Belgium (6.3%), and Spain (6.1% - data Comtrade). Senegal is a member of the Economic Community of West African States, and the country has trade agreements with several countries, including the EU, the United States, Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, and Australia. Given its growing influence in the African continent, China has become an increasingly important partner of Senegal. The country’s trade policies are designed to help reduce the trade deficit, ensure regular supplies to the domestic market, promote local value chains, strengthen the regional integration process and access to international markets and promote competition. Under the Emerging Senegal Plan, the government seeks to deepen regional integration by further developing the infrastructure network; eliminating barriers to the free movement of persons, goods, and services; and developing intra-community trade.

Senegalese foreign trade is characterized by a structural current account deficit, which historically represents more than 10% of GDP. However, offshore oil production should help narrow the deficit in the medium term. In 2022, imports of goods increased to USD 10 billion (+11.3% y-o-y) while exports of goods stood at USD 5.4 billion (+4% y-o-y – WTO). In the same year, the country imported services for the total value of USD 3.5 billion while its services exports amounted to USD 1.1 billion. The overall trade balance was estimated to be in deficit by 26% of GDP by the World Bank (from 19.9% in 2021).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 8,0718,1447,8129,69910,802
Exports of Goods (million USD) 3,6234,1793,9295,2025,413
Imports of Services (million USD) 1,6981,8612,6423,7893,562
Exports of Services (million USD) 1,4211,4088741,2891,186

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 61.864.260.069.180.6
Trade Balance (million USD) -3,396-2,880-2,797-2,998n/a
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -3,673-3,334-4,564-5,498n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 9.06.87.015.529.1
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 8.214.7-13.222.68.1
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 38.839.339.344.555.4
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 22.925.020.724.625.3

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) 12.023.716.76.44.8
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 6.31.45.63.75.2

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Senegal is a member of the Economic and Monetary Union of Western Africa (UEMAO) and also adheres to the Franc Zone
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
Mali 19.9%
India 15.2%
Switzerland 11.6%
China 4.0%
Australia 3.9%
See More Countries 45.4%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
China 10.0%
France 9.2%
India 7.5%
Belgium 6.3%
Spain 6.1%
See More Countries 61.0%

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

 
 

Main Products

5.7 bn USD of products exported in 2022
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 17.8%
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 16.3%
Diphosphorus pentaoxide; phosphoric acid;...Diphosphorus pentaoxide; phosphoric acid; polyphosphoric acids, whether or not chemically defined 13.2%
Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish...Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 4.8%
Molluscs, fit for human consumption, even smoked,...Molluscs, fit for human consumption, even smoked, whether in shell or not, live, fresh, chilled, frozen, dried, salted or in brine; flours, meals and pellets of molluscs, fit for human consumption 3.8%
See More Products 44.0%
12.1 bn USD of products imported in 2022
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 24.2%
RiceRice 4.6%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 3.7%
Wheat and meslinWheat and meslin 3.1%
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) 3.1%
See More Products 61.2%

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: May 2024

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