United Arab Emirates remain the leading destination markets for commodities exported from East Africa hitting $98 million in 2017, figures in a report titled State of Commodity Dependence 2019 compiled by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
These exports surpassed by $2 million, the $96 million exports sent to the 28-nation European Union, even as some of the countries in the region clamour for renegotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe.
Burundi was the biggest exporter of commodities to the UAE at $50 million, followed by Rwanda with $19 million worth of exports. Uganda and Tanzania each sold $11 million, while the region’s largest economy Kenya was last with $7 million.
Burundi’s exports were largely agricultural products worth $48 million. The products consisted of coffee and coffee substitutes worth $23 million, and Tea and Mate valued at $13 million.
[Mate: Sometimes spelled maté in English though not in Spanish or Portuguese, also known as chimarrão in Portuguese or cimarrón in Spanish, is a traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink, that was first consumed by the Guaraní and also spread by the Tupí people. In the last centuries, it became particularly popular in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile and southern Brazil. It is also consumed in Syria, the largest importer in the world, and in Lebanon.]
It was followed by ores, metals, precious stones and non-monetary gold exports valued at $42 million.
Rwanda’s exports consisted of ores, metals, precious stones and non-monetary gold worth $51 million followed by agricultural products worth $31 million and fuels worth $8 million.
Rwanda’s three leading commodity exports were ores and concentrates of base metals, n.e.s. worth $20 million, non-monetary gold (excluding gold ores and concentrates worth $29 million, and coffee and coffee substitutes valued at $9 million.
Uganda’s top exports were agricultural worth $63 million, followed by ores, metals, precious stones and non-monetary gold valued at $15 million and fuels coming third at $4 million.
Tanzania’s agriculture sector exported products worth $45 million, followed by ores, metals, precious stones and non-monetary gold exports valued at $39 million and fuels of $2 million.
The three leading products exported were gold, non-monetary (excluding gold ores and concentrates worth $29 million, followed by fruits and nuts (excluding oil nuts), fresh or dried worth $12 million, unmanufactured tobacco; tobacco refuse was third with exports worth $6 million.
Kenya exported agricultural products worth $61 million, followed by ores, metals, precious stones and non-monetary gold worth $6 million and fuels worth $5 million.
Its three leading commodity exports were tea and maté worth $24 million, followed by crude vegetable materials at $13 million, and petroleum oils and bituminous minerals worth $5 million.
Kenya imported products worth $24 million from India, the UAE, worth $12 million. It also imported products worth $9 million from Saudi Arabia, $8 million from the EU and others valued at $7 million from Indonesia.
Burundi imported products worth $16 million from Saudi Arabia, $10 million from Tanzania, $10 million from India, $10 million from EU and products worth $9 million from Kenya.
Kenya also exported products worth $32 million to the European Union, $7 million to Pakistan, with both Uganda and Egypt getting $5 million worth of products exports.
Rwanda also exported apart from the UAE, products worth $17 million to the Democratic Republic of Congo, $9 million to Kenya, $8 million to the EU and $7 million to China.
Apart from the UAE, Uganda exported products valued at $28 million to the EU, $16 million to Kenya, $8 million to South Sudan and $5 million to Rwanda.
Tanzania apart from the UAE, also exported products worth $21 million to India, $14 million to EU, $9 million to China and $8 mil-lion to South Africa.
Burundi also exported $14 million to the EU, $7 million to Pakistan, $7 million to DRC and $3 million to Switzerland.
Rwanda imported products worth $25 million from Uganda, $13 million from Kenya, $8 million from the EU, $8 million from the UAE and products worth $7 million from Tanzania.