In 2018, Eswatini’s exports to Africa were worth US$1.7 billion, while imports from Africa were valued at US$1.5 billion. Intra-Africa exports accounted for 93% of Eswatini’s global exports, while intra-Africa imports accounted for 78% of Eswatini’s world imports for 2018. Between 2017 and 2018, Eswatini’s intra-Africa exports increased by 2%, while intra-Africa imports increased by 13%.
In 2018, Eswatini’s main intra-Africa export product was mixtures of odoriferous substances (an additive used in the food and beverage industry), accounting for 36% of Eswatini’s total intra-African exports. However, exports of mixtures of odoriferous substances fell by 1% between 2017 and 2018.
Other main intra-Africa export products were prepared binders for foundry moulds or cores accounting for 13% of total Africa exports, cane or beet sugar (13%), female suits (4%) and wood (3%). The top 10 intra-African export products accounted for 79% of Eswatini’s total exports to the rest of Africa.
In 2018, Eswatini’s main destination market was South Africa – importing 74% of Eswatini’s intra-Africa exports. Other main destinations were Kenya (5%), Mozambique (4%), Tanzania (2%) and Angola (2%). The top 10 destination markets had a combined intra-Africa export share of 96% in 2018.
Petroleum oils (not crude) was Eswatini’s main import product in 2018, accounting for 12% of Eswatini’s total intra-Africa imports. Other main intra-Africa import products were electrical energy (3%), personal effects (2%), and goods vehicles (2%). The top 10 intra-Africa imports accounted for 28% of Eswatini’s total intra-African imports.
South Africa was Eswatini’s main source market in 2018, accounting for 95% of Eswatini’s imports from the rest of Africa. Other source markets included Mozambique (2%), Lesotho (1%), Eswatini (1%),1 and Mauritius (1%). The top 10 source markets had a combined intra-Africa import share of 99% in 2018.
In terms of total trade (exports + imports), South Africa was Eswatini’s main trading partner, accounting for 84% of total trade, followed by Kenya (3%), Nigeria (3%), Mozambique (3%), Tanzania (1%) and Angola (1%).
Intra-Africa import tariffs
Most of the goods imported into Eswatini from other SADC member states enter duty-free. The only exceptions are sugar, second-hand clothes and original equipment components. African imports from outside SACU and SADC are levied the MFN applied duty which is the SACU common external tariff (CET). In 2018, 15% of Eswatini’s intra-Africa exports were to the members outside SACU and SADC, while only 0.56% of its intra-African imports were from these countries.
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