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Nigeria claims top spot in Cote d'Ivoire Trade; China follows, France trails

Thursday, 02 May 2024 14:16
Nigeria claims top spot in Cote d'Ivoire Trade; China follows, France trails

(Ecofin Agency) - Contrary to widespread perception, Nigeria emerges as the primary beneficiary of Cote d'Ivoire's trade, based on data released by the Ivorian customs administration covering the period from 2019 to 2023. Nigeria's cumulative trade surplus with Cote d'Ivoire reached CFA5,170 billion ($8.4 billion), making it the leading beneficiary of trade in goods between Côte d'Ivoire and its partner countries

China follows closely behind, boasting a cumulative surplus over five years of CFA4,783 billion ($7.7 billion). France, often presumed to dominate the Ivorian market, ranks third with a more modest cumulative trade gain of only CFA1,330 billion ($2.16 billion).

These figures challenge the notion that a market like Cote d'Ivoire's is heavily influenced by French exports. In 2023 specifically, France slipped to 8th place among partners profiting from goods trade with Cote d'Ivoire. Meanwhile, Nigeria solidified its position with a record trade surplus in 2023 of CFA1,517.8 billion ($2.47 billion), followed by China (CFA1,224.5 billion, $1.99 billion). The top 5 also includes India, Croatia, and notably, Russia, despite facing several international sanctions.

Nigeria's dominance can be attributed to crude oil imports, as the country is Africa's leading producer, whereas Cote d'Ivoire exports very little to this challenging market for investors from Francophone Africa. In 2023, Nigeria remained the second-largest goods supplier to Cote d'Ivoire, with a total value of CFA1,602.2 billion ($2.6 billion), while France, selling goods worth only CFA638.15 billion ($1.04 billion), lagged in third place.

The evolution of Cote d'Ivoire's foreign trade is worth monitoring in 2024. The rise in cocoa prices is expected to reverse the previous downward trend. The export-to-import ratio, which was 121.3% in 2019, dropped to 97% in 2023. Ivorian customs explain, "During the period 2019-2021, Cote d'Ivoire's trade balance remained positive. However, the trade balance remained negative in 2022 and 2023."

These figures solely focus on goods trade, excluding services. They also do not consider countries' rankings based on balance of payments, where France, as a key investor, may draw financial resources in the form of dividends. Nonetheless, countries like Morocco and Burkina Faso have shown significant progress in the Ivorian market.

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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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