United States-sub-Saharan Africa Trade Initiative
Willemien Viljoen, tralac Researcher, discusses the launch of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) sub-Saharan Africa Trade Initiative
This week (between 16 and 18 September 2013) Krysta Harden, the United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, is leading a trade mission to South Africa and Mozambique to promote US agricultural trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa*. The aim of the US-sub-Saharan Africa Agribusiness Trade Mission (ATM) is to increase and promote agricultural trade between US and sub-Saharan African (SSA) companies producing various agricultural products in a number of market sectors. These market sectors include processed foods, livestock, nuts and legumes, fruit, beverages, and horticultural plant stock.
Part of the ATM is the launch of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) SSA Trade Initiative. A number of US companies and USDA co-operators are participating in the trade initiative, including the US Wheat Association, USA Rice Federation, American Peanut Council, and the Cranberry Marketing Committee. The objectives of this initiative are to improve existing commercial ties between the US and countries in the SSA region, establish new relationships between US and African business (especially small and medium sized enterprises), and support agricultural growth throughout the region. This trade initiative forms part of the US Strategy Towards sub-Saharan Africa outlined in June 2012 which identified the economies of the SSA region as among the world’s most rapidly growing economies.
According to the USDA delegation, the strong economic outlook, growing middle class and increased demand for consumer foods in many countries in the SSA region shows the potential for US food and agricultural producers and exporters in the African market. The current agricultural trading relationship between the US and countries in the SSA region are exemplified by the following (all data was obtained from ITC TradeMap for agricultural products according to the definition in Annex 1 to the WTO Agreement on Agriculture):
In 2012 the value of US agricultural exports to SSA was approximately US$ 2.6 billion, while the value of agricultural imports from SSA countries was approximately US$ 1.9 billion in the same year.
US agricultural exports to and imports from SSA accounted for 12% and 4%, respectively, of the total US exports to and imports from all SSA countries in 2012.
Between 2008 and 2012, the US agricultural imports from SSA increased by 39% (from approximately US$ 1.4 billion to approximately US$ 1.9 billion), while US agricultural exports to SSA declined slightly by 0.2% (from approximately US$ 2.652 billion to approximately US$ 2.648 billion) over the same time period.
In 2012 the main agricultural products imported by the US from SSA were cocoa beans (41 percent), not roasted coffee (11 percent), defatted cocoa paste (6 percent), shelled Macadamia nuts (3 percent), and not defatted cocoa paste (3 percent). These products accounted for 65% of the total US agricultural imports from SSA for the year.
The main agricultural products exported by the US to SSA in 2012 were wheat and meslin (43 percent), frozen cuts and offal of fowls (17 percent), rice (5 percent), vegetable fats and oils (3 percent), and grain sorghum (3 percent). These products accounted for 71% of the total agricultural products exported by the US to SSA countries during the year.
In 2012 the US mainly imported agricultural goods from Canada, Mexico, India, Brazil and China. In the same year the top SSA countries from which the US imported agricultural products were the Ivory Coast, South Africa, Ghana and Kenya. However, the US agricultural imports from these four countries accounted for only 1.3% of the US’s total agricultural imports from all countries in 2012.
The main export destinations for US agricultural exports in 2012 were Canada, China, Mexico, Japan and Korea. The main SSA export destinations for agricultural products from the US for the same year were Nigeria, Angola, South Africa and Ghana. These countries accounted for only 1.3% of the US’s total agricultural exports to the world.
* Sub-Saharan Africa includes all African countries except northern Africa, with the Sudan included in sub-Saharan Africa.
United Nations Statistics Division (http://unstats.un.org),