In 2021, Eritrean imports were predicted to be valued at 284.4 million dollars.
That figure represents a minus 21.5 percent drop from 2016 to 2019 and a minus 26.7 percent drop from 2020 to 2021.
The five commodities on which Eritrea spent the most on imported products were wheat or meslin flour, sorghum grain, trucks, new rubber tires, and sugar.
In 2020, the quintet of imported products will account for nearly a third or 31.2 percent of total Eritrean imports.
With a population of 3.55 million people, Eritrea’s total 2020 imports of 284.4 million dollars equate to nearly 80 million dollars in annual product demand for each individual in the small African country.
Eritrea’s Top Imports
At the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, the following product groups represent Eritrea’s top dollar value import imports in 2021.
The percentage proportion of each product category in terms of total imports into Eritrea is also indicated.
Machinery including computers: 41.6 million dollars accounts for 14.6 percent of total imports
Milling products, malt, and starches: 41.2 million dollars account for 14.5 percent
Vehicles: 25.2 million dollars account for 8.9 percent
Cereals: 15.6 million dollars account for 5.5 percent
Rubber, rubber articles: 14.1 million dollars account for 5 percent
Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: 11.1 million dollars account for 3.9 percent
Articles of iron or steel: 10.9 million dollars account for 3.8 percent
Electrical machinery, and equipment: 10.4 million dollars account for 3.6 percent
Plastics, plastic articles: 9.9 million dollars account for 3.5 percent
Sugar, sugar confectionery: 9.2 million accounts for 3.2 percent
Eritrea’s top ten imports amounted to nearly two-thirds of the total value of its goods purchases from other nations or 66.5 percent.
Sugar, particularly sugar confectionery, grew at the quickest rate among the top ten import categories, increasing by 701 percent from 2019 to 2020.
Vehicles came in second for increasing import sales, with a 49.2 percent increase.
Cereals increased by 25 percent year over year, owing to increased grain sorghum sales.
Eritrea’s imports of electrical gear and equipment were the biggest losers, falling by 49.5 percent.
Eritrea’s Top Exports
In 2020, Eritrea’s exports were predicted to be valued at 362.8 million dollars. That figure represents a minus 4.8 percent drop from 2016 to 2019 and a minus 27.3 percent drop from 2020 to 2021.
Eritrea is a small country in East Africa bordered on the west by Sudan, the south and southwest by Ethiopia, and on the southeast by Djibouti.
The Red Sea runs along the northeastern and eastern coasts of Eritrea.
Copper ores or concentrates and zinc ores or concentrates are Eritrea’s two most valuable export product subcategories in terms of value.
By value, these items account for 98.4 percent of Eritrea’s total exports.
Such a high percentage shows that Eritrea’s international shipments are concentrated in a small number of hands.
Given Eritrea’s population of 3.55 million people, the country’s total exports of 362.8 million dollars in 2021 equate to about 100 dollars for each citizen.
At the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, the following export product groups constitute the largest dollar value in Eritrean global shipments in 2020.
The percentage proportion of each export category in terms of total Eritrean exports is also indicated.
Ores, slag, ash: 356.9 million dollars account for 98.4 percent of total exports
Clothing, and accessories: 2.2 million dollars account for 0.6 percent
Machinery including computers: 682,000 dollars accounts for 0.2 percent
Spices: 528,000 dollars accounts for 0.15 percent
Perfumes, cosmetics: 438,000 dollars account for 0.12 percent
Beverages, spirits, vinegar: 282,000 dollars account for 0.08 percent
Electrical machinery, equipment: 163,000 dollars account for 0.04 percent
Optical, technical, and medical apparatus: 158,000 accounts for 0.04 percent
Fish: 154,000 dollars accounts for 0.04 percent
Plastics, plastic articles: 132,000 accounts for 0.04 percent
Eritrea’s top ten exports accounted for 99.7 percent of the total value of its global shipments in terms of value.
Perfumes and cosmetics are the fastest-growing export category, with a 1,464 percent increase from 2019 to 2021.
Machines, including computers, came in second for Eritrea’s improving export sales, with a 210 percent increase.
Eritrean exports of plastics, both as materials and as finished goods, grew at the third-fastest rate, increasing by 103.1 percent.
The fastest decliner among the top 10 Eritrean exports was the spices category, which dropped by minus 49.7 percent due to falling overseas sales of peppers.
Eritrea’s total exported goods are expected to account for 5.6 percent of its entire Gross Domestic Product valued at 6.455 billion dollars in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars in 2021.
In 2020, exports will account for 5.6 percent of the total GDP per PPP, down from 7.8 percent in 2019.
The unemployment rate is another important measure of a country’s economic performance.
According to data from Trading Economics, Eritrea’s unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in 2020, up from 6.3 percent in 2020.
Asmara is Eritrea’s capital city.