Export revenue drops for the first time


For the last several years, the Ethiopian export sector has been registering growth year on year, though not reaching the targets set by the government. However, for the first time in recent history of the country, the revenue generated from the export sector declined when compared with the previous year performance. 
Last year’s export performance report indicated that the total export from agricultural, mining and industry all together registered 3.08 billion dollars. The performance shows a slight decrement when compared with the 2011/12 budget year performance that managed to get 3.15 billion birr revenue.
The performance of the just ended budget year is also a billion dollar less than the target set by the Ministry of Trade (MoT) which is a little over 4 billion dollars.
In the past years, the export market has been booming in terms of volume and revenue. Even in the 2008/09 fiscal year, during the financial crisis that affected many countries, Ethiopia’s export  has been registering growth.
Coffee,  the major export item of the country for over half a century, fetching lower prices is said to be the main reason for the underperformance.
According to MoT’s report, the total revenue secured from coffee export is just 746 million dollars even though the volume of coffee exported is higher when compared with the preceding year.  In the 2011/12 budget year, the revenue recorded was 832 million dollars exporting 169,387 tons of coffee. In the past fiscal year (2012/13) the country exported 199,104 tons of coffee beans. The export amount and revenue of oilseeds, in the past fiscal year has also decreased when compared with the previous year performance. According to the report, the country exported 280,968 tons of oilseeds and earned 480 million dollar; A year before, the country exported 265,801 tons of oilseeds and earned 470 million dollar.
Another major agricultural product that registered a decline is the export of livestock registering about 40 million dollar less when compared with the preceding year.
The flower sector also shows a decrease in revenue by 10 million dollar. In the horticulture sector, vegetable and fruit, export that attracted government’s attention to boom in the period of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) has also slightly declined in the past year, recording 43.6 million dollars.
From the main agricultural export items, only pulses and khat have registered significant growth in the past year.
According to the report, pulses export has earned over 233 million dollars, from 159 million dollars record in 2011/12. The export of khat has also earned 271 million dollars; this number was 240 million dollars a year ago.
The other major sector the government gave priority to in the GTP is the industry sector. The report indicated that the sector generated slightly higher revenue when compared with the preceding year.
The leather and leather products export on the other hand has excelled, amassing 21 million dollar higher than the 111 million dollar revenue it had registered a year ago.
According to the report on the textile sector, Ethiopia exported 248 million dollars worth of products from the manufacturing sector. The export figure was 224 million dollar a year ago.
The report further states that gold export has registered a revenue of 578 million dollars, which was 602 million in 2011/12. Earnings from tantalum export have also declined by over 200 percent. The report stated that the revenue earned from tantalum export is 5 million dollars slashing down from the previous year earnings of 16.6 million dollar.
For the third consecutive year of the GTP period, Ethiopia’s export revenue has registered below the target set by the government.