Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection
Photo credit: Simon Dawson | Bloomberg

Selected resources, previews of this weekend’s G20 Trade Ministerial in Japan:

The IMF’s G20 Surveillance Note, other IMF G20 resources; Asia Times: G20 finance ministers land for showdown in Fukuoka; Bloomberg: Here’s what to watch at the G20 finance meetings this weekend; LiveMint: Decision on $300bn China tariffs after G20 meeting, says Donald Trump

SAnews: South Africa to participate in key G20 Trade Ministers’ meeting

Profiled trade data pointers:

  1. Brookings ‘Figures of the week’ feature: Africa’s international trade in services

  2. UNWTO: Exports from international tourism hit $1.7 trillion in 2018 – a 4% increase in real terms over the previous year

TFTA negotiations update: Conclusion of the bilateral tariff negotiations between SACU, EAC

The conclusion of the SACU-EAC negotiations marks a significant step towards realising the benefits of the TFTA. The main aim of the SACU-EAC market access negotiations has always been to provide commercially meaningful market access for the private sector in the two regions. The SACU-EAC private sector will thus have access to new and dynamic markets for exports as well as new sources of inputs for domestic production processes, thereby enhancing intra-regional trade. Furthermore, there is emphasis on the development of regional value chains in a wide range of sectors, to deepen integration between SACU and the EAC. The conclusion of the negotiations provides an opportunity for the TFTA to be a building block and to have a coordinated approach for negotiations in the AfCFTA.

Doing Business in Mozambique 2019 (World Bank)

Doing Business in Mozambique 2019, the first sub-national Doing Business report on the country, measures four regulatory areas impacting the business environment: starting a business, registering property and enforcing contracts in ten provinces and trading across borders in three ports and one border crossing. No single Mozambican province dominates the indicator rankings across all areas benchmarked, leaving room for all locations to learn from each other’s good practices. Gaza stands out by ranking in the top third on two indicators — third in starting a business and second in registering property. If Maputo City adopted the good practices already in place, its overall performance would improve, and it would jump from 135 to 113 in the Doing Business global ranking. Extract (pdf):

In trading across borders, the border crossing of Ressano Garcia outperforms the three seaports measured (table 1.2.) Ressano Garcia has shorter times and lower costs associated with terminal handling and fewer documentary requirements. Its strong performance is also a testament to the gradual implementation of the one-stop border post project, under the framework of the 2007 agreement reached by Mozambique and South Africa to improve customs clearance procedures for commercial cargo at the border and reduce waiting times. Among the three maritime ports, it is easiest to export coal from Beira due to a faster clearance process that does not require phytosanitary certificates, supervision of packing or scanning inspections. Nacala, the deep-water port located in Nampula Province, ranks last out of the four locations measured due to the burdensome and expensive procedures to export pigeon peas to India — especially considering that the supervision of packing usually takes place at Nacala’s Special Export Terminal, where there are long lines and high fees. It is easier to export aluminum than sugar from Maputo port because the major exporter, Mozal, operates its own dedicated aluminum port terminal; also, aluminum exports do not require phytosanitary certification. The import of auto parts is easiest through Nacala because of considerably lower customs broker fees. Yet the process still takes longer in Nacala than in Maputo. Time to comply with documentary requirements is an area where all the border crossings perform well due to the implementation of the electronic single window, a portal connecting the main stakeholders. However, there is room for improvement in customs clearance and terminal handling procedures. [Download the Portuguese version here]

Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe: AfDB appraisal report on post-cyclone Idai and Kenneth emergency recovery and resilience programme

The scale of devastation by the Tropical Cyclone Idai and Kenneth is clearly beyond the capacity of the governments of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe to handle alone. More importantly, the nature of the economic impact is eminently regional in nature (pdf). The transport corridor is at the epicenter of the cyclone and flood damage, linking the port of Beira with Zimbabwe and Malawi is a key growth pole for the region. Beira port has become the most active gateway to serve the Central Mozambique and landlocked countries of Malawi, Zambia, DRC and Zimbabwe. The destruction of roads, rail and port infrastructures in Mozambique has had an effect on the balance of payments and price levels in Malawi and Zimbabwe. In addition, Mozambique is an energy hub exporting electricity into the Southern Africa Power Pool, and the disruption to the transmission lines in Mozambique caused by the cyclone, led to blackouts as far as South Africa. The regional impact of the cyclone shows that building early warning systems and meteorological forecasting capacity in any one country is a regional public good. [Borgen Project: Climate-smart agriculture in Senegal]

Nigeria: Foreign trade in goods, Q1 2019 (Nairametrics)

Nigeria’s total trade hits N8.24 trillion in the first quarter of 2019, according to the latest foreign trade report released by the National Bureau of Statistics. According to the NBS report, the value of total imports rose 3.39% in Q1 2019 when compared to Q4 2018. It also increased by 25.84% over the corresponding quarter of 2018. Similarly, the value of total exports in Q1 2019 increased by 1.78% against the level recorded in Q4, 2018. It, however, decreased by 3.90% against its value in Q1, 2018. The value of total exports was N4.54 trillion within the quarter; Imports increased by 3.39% to N3.70 trillion; Trade Surplus stood at N831.62 billion. Major export trading partners, percentage share in Q1: India 16.43%, Spain 10.74%, Netherlands 8.94%, South Africa 7.18%, France 6.67%. Major import trading partners and percentage share in Q1: China 26.4%, Swaziland 14.3%, United States 8.8%, India 6.6%, Netherlands 4.1%.

Ethiopia 2019/20 coffee exports to rise to record high – USDA (Reuters)

Ethiopia, Africa’s top coffee producer, is expected to export a record-high 4 million 60-kg bags of coffee in 2019/20, the US Department of Agriculture attache in Addis Ababa said, as yields improve and the area dedicated to coffee farming increase. Production of coffee is expected to rise to 7.35 million tonnes in 2019/20, an 1.4% increase from the 2018/19 season. Exports account for just over half of overall production, and are forecast to grow 0.5% in 2019/20 from the previous year to reach 4 million bags. Coffee is Ethiopia’s most important export. Exporters in the country are facing increased regulation, the USDA said, with the government banning several exporters in recent months for defaulting on their contracts and hoarding beans. Extract from the USDA report (pdf):

Coffee is the most important foreign currency earner for Ethiopia. In addition to ensuring the volume and quality of coffee exports, exporters must properly manage the contracts. While most exporters assist the economy by supplying quality coffee to the international market, the government is also taking strict actions against those who fail to comply with their contracts. In March of 2019 alone 81 coffee exporters have been banned from trading with the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) because they defaulted on their contracts. Ethiopia has more than 400 coffee exporters, 395 coffee farmers who directly export coffee, and over 30 import-export companies who export coffee and use the foreign currency to import other materials like vehicles and construction inputs. Ethiopia exports coffee to over 60 countries. Based on the coffee export data in 2017/18, the principal export markets for Ethiopian coffee were: Germany (22 %), Saudi Arabia (16 %), United States of America (11%), Belgium (7 %), Sudan (6 %) and Italy (5 %).

Uganda: State of the Nation Address, 2019 (State House)

As regards international trade, our exports revenue of goods and services grew at 8.2 % in 2018/19, amounting to $7.012bn ($3.8bn being earnings from trade in goods, $1.89bn from services and $1.312bn from remittances). The total import bill for goods and services stood at S$8.8bn, creating a trade deficit of $1.86bn. Under the 2020 Coffee Road map which I launched a few years ago, the volume of coffee exports reached 4.5 million bags in FY 2017/18 earning the country $492m. Light industrial goods exports fetched us $382m, while tourism revenues amounted to $1.0bn in the same year.

If we can increase production per hectare of coffee as an example from the current 0.67 tonnes to 2.2 tonnes per hectare like in Brazil and Vietnam, Uganda would be earning about $2bn from unprocessed coffee alone. At 2.2 tonnes per hectare, Uganda will produce 21 million bags of green coffee and if this coffee was roasted here (roasting alone), Uganda would fetch $6.7bn. But if it was transformed into soluble - instant coffee, we would then generate $16.8bn for the country. This is possible. We just need to be better organized and focused on distribution of better seedlings, better harvesting, post-harvesting methods and storage. We are going to process much of this coffee. By processing 60,000 tonnes of coffee, per year, by Ms Henrica Pinetti’s factory, Uganda will earn $330m.

Today’s Quick Links:

South Africa: SARB report on current account of the balance of payments

PwC Nigeria: AfCFTA – Thriving in a New Africa, Part 1 (pdf)

Observer Research Foundation: Need for integrating the African continental infrastructure framework

South Africa: Agro-processing sector outward selling mission to the US (14-19 October, pdf)

DHL rolls out e-commerce platform to more African markets following initial success

Kuwaiti company Agility wants to increase its logistics parks in Africa

2019 UK Trade and Export Finance Forum: speech by Dr Liam Fox

WTO issues updated dispute settlement case summaries

World Bank Group Boards’ Calendar: June-August (pdf)

World Bank: China’s high-speed rail development


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