A country sharing Africa’s southwestern coastline with the Atlantic Ocean, the Republic of Angola shipped an estimated US$35.4 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a -20.9% decline since 2015 and a -15.8% downtick from 2018 to 2019.
The latest available country-specific data from 2018 shows that 88.2% of products exported from Angola were bought by importers in: China (57.5% of the global total), India (8.9%), United States (3.8%), Spain (2.9%), South Africa (2.7%), Portugal (2.6%), United Arab Emirates (2%), France (1.9%), Canada (1.6%), Thailand (also 1.6%), Indonesia (1.4%) and Singapore (1.3%).
From a continental perspective, 76.2% of Angola’s exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 10.5% were sold to importers in Europe. Smaller percentages went to North America (5.4%), Africa (5.2%), Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (1.6%), and Oceania led by Australia (0.2%).
Given Angola’s population of 30.1 million people, its total $35.4 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $1,200 for every resident in the southwestern African country.
Angola’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Angolan global shipments during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Angola.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$34.6 billion (97.9% of total exports)
- Gems, precious metals: $487.8 million (1.4%)
- Fish: $40.9 million (0.1%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $34 million (0.1%)
- Machinery including computers: $26.8 million (0.1%)
- Copper: $22.4 million (0.1%)
- Wood: $21 million (0.1%)
- Aluminum: $18.1 million (0.1%)
- Food industry waste, animal fodder: $16.1 million (0.05%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $13.8 million (0.04%)
Angola’s top 10 exports are highly concentrated, accounting for 99.8% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Copper represents the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 8,594% from 2018 to 2019. In second place for improving export sales was aluminum via a 1,280% gain. Angola’s shipments of food industry waste and animal fodder posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 68%.
The leading decliner among Angola’s top 10 export categories was wood thanks to its -83.5% drop year over year.
From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, crude oil represents Angola’s most valuable exported product at 91.4% of the country’s total. In second place was petroleum gases (5.3%) trailed by unset diamonds (1.4%), processed petroleum oils (1.1%), monument or building stones including granite (0.1%), coal tar oils (also 0.1%) then crustaceans including lobsters (also 0.1%).
Overall Angola achieved an estimated $26.4 billion trade surplus for 2019, up by 3% from the $25.6 billion in black ink one year earlier.
The following types of Angolan product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.
In a nutshell, net exports reflect the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$34.1 billion (Down by -6.4% since 2018)
- Gems, precious metals: $482.1 million (Down by -58.1%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $15.9 million (Reversing a -$10.6 million deficit)
- Copper: $14.1 million (Reversing a -$39.2 million deficit)
- Fish: $9.8 million (Reversing a -$74.2 million deficit)
- Lead: $5.9 million (Reversing a -$7.6 million deficit)
- Ores, slag, ash: $1 million (Up by 139.1%)
Angola has highly positive net exports in the international trade of crude oil and, to a lesser extent, petroleum gases. In turn, these cashflows indicate Angola’s strong competitive advantages under mineral fuels including oil category.
Below are exports from Angola that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Angola’s goods trail Angolan importer spending on foreign products.
- Machinery including computers: -US$1.4 billion (Down by -32.9% since 2018)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$596.3 million (Down by -36.5%)
- Ships, boats: -$583.3 million (Up by 73.8%)
- Meat: -$375.2 million (Down by -49.6%)
- Vehicles: -$373.1 million (Down by -44.7%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$359.9 million (Down by -16.7%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$354.7 million (Down by -20.4%)
- Cereals: -$304.2 million (Down by -16.2%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$209.6 million (Down by -35.2%)
- Footwear: -$204.5 million (Up by 172.8%)
Angola has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the machinery including computers category.
Angolan Export Companies
No Angolan corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists exports-related companies from Angola. Selected examples are shown below.
- Angola Cables (fibreoptics)
- Angola LNG (natural gas)
- Cuca beer (alcoholic beverages)
- Endiama (diamonds)
- Secil Maritima (shipping)
- Sonangol Group (oil, gas)
- Transafrik International (cargo airliner)
- Unitel Angola (mobile phones)
In macroeconomic terms, Angola’s total exported goods represent 17.4% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2019 ($203.4 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 17.4% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2019 compares to 21.1% for 2018. Those metrics suggests a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Angola’s total economic performance albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Angola’s unemployment rate was 31.8% at December 2019 up from a 20% jobless rate in December 2019, according to Trading Economics.
Angola’s capital city is Luanda.
See also Nigeria’s Top 10 Exports, South Africa’s Top 10 Exports and Capital Facts for Luanda, Angola
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on June 18, 2020
Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 18, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 18, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 18, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 18, 2020
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 18, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Angola. Accessed on June 18, 2020
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 18, 2020