That dollar amount reflects a 39.1% increase from $3.27 billion in 2018.
Year over year, overall sales of Burkina Faso’s exported goods shrank by -10.2% compared to $56 billion during 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2021, Burkina Faso’s legal currency is the West African CFA franc which depreciated by -12.3% against the US dollar since 2018 and diluted by -12.5% from 2021 to 2022. Burkina Faso’s weaker local currency makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Burkina Faso’s biggest 3 exports by value are the subcategories unwrought gold, uncarded and uncombed cotton, then cashew nuts and coconuts. Collectively, those products accounted for 87.5% of the overall revenues from all of the country’s exports in 2022. Such a high percentage illustrates Burkina Faso’s intensely concentrated portfolio of exported goods.
Major Trading Partners of Burkina Faso
The latest available country-specific data shows that 95.2% of products exported from Burkina Faso were bought by importers in: Switzerland (68.8% of the country’s total), Mali (6.7%), United Arab Emirates (4.3%), Singapore (3.8%), Ivory Coast (3.7%), France (2.1%), India (1.6%), Ghana (1.2%), United States of America (0.9%), Greece (0.74%), Togo (0.7%) and Niger (0.67%).
From a continental perspective, almost three-quarters (74.2%) of Burkina Faso’s exports by value was delivered to European countries while 14.6% was sold to importers in fellow African nations. Burkina Faso shipped another 10.2% worth of goods to buyers in Asia.
Tinier percentages went to customers located in North America (1%), Latin America (01%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania’s Australia only (005%).
Given Burkina Faso’s population of 22.8 million people, its total $4.55 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $200 for every resident in the northwest African country. That dollar metric falls below the the average $235 per capita one year earlier during 2021.
Burkina Faso’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Burkinabe global shipments during 2022, at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Burkina Faso.
- Gems, precious metals: US$3.4 billion (74.3% of total exports)
- Cotton: $466 million (10.2%)
- Fruits, nuts: $180.6 million (4%)
- Oil seeds: $129.2 million (2.8%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $83.4 million (1.8%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $56.4 million (1.2%)
- Machinery including computers: $40.8 million (0.9%)
- Iron, steel: $38.4 million (0.8%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $32.3 million (0.7%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $31.3 million (0.7%)
Burkina Faso’s top 10 exports accounted for 97.5% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Mineral fuels including oil was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 153.6% from 2021 to 2022. That product category was propelled by greater revenues from Burkina Faso’s exports of processed petroleum oils.
In second place for improving export sales was salt, sulphur, stone and cement via a 119.5% advance.
Burkina Faso’s shipments of the metals iron and steel posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 87.6%.
The leading decliner among Burkina Faso’s top 10 export categories was the ores, slag and ash, pulled down by a -65.3% annual drop. Burkina Faso’s shipments of zinc ores and concentrates recorded a notable reduction in export sales.
Drilling down to 4-digit HTS codes, Burkina Faso’s most valuable exported goods include unwrought gold (74.1% of the country’s global total). In second place was uncarded and uncombed cotton (10.1%), cashew nuts and coconuts (3.2%), oil seeds (2.6%), hydraulic cements (1.8%), zinc ores or concentrates (1.2%), dates, pineapples, mangoes, avocadoes and guavas (0.8%), processed petroleum oils (0.7%), iron or non-alloy steel bars and rods (0.6%), then fixed vegetable fats and oils (also 0.6%).
Products Generating Burkina Faso’s Best Trade Surpluses
The following types of Burkinabe 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 represent 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.
- Gems, precious metals: US$3.4 billion (Down by -14% since 2021)
- Cotton: $461.4 million (Up by 1.4%)
- Fruits, nuts: $176.5 million (Up by 23.2%)
- Oil seeds: $122.5 million (Up by 12.3%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $56.1 million (Down by -65.4%)
- Food industry waste, animal fodder: $8.2 million (Up by 6.3%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $7.4 million (Down by -30.9%)
- Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $731,000 (Up by 297.3%)
- Live animals: $485,000 (Down by -23.5%)
- Live trees, plants, cut flowers: $160,000 (Down by -42.9%)
Burkina Faso has highly positive net exports in the international trade of gold. In turn, these cashflows indicate Burkina Faso’s strong competitive advantages under the gems and precious metals category.
Products Causing Burkina Faso’s Worst Trade Deficits
Burkina Faso recorded an overall -US$183 billion trade deficit for 2022, reversing a $349.3 million trade surplus one year earlier in 2021.
Below are exports from Burkina Faso that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Burkina Faso’s goods trail Burkinabe importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$2.1 billion (Up by 52.5% since 2020)
- Machinery including computers: -$345.9 million (Down by -13%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$303.9 million (Up by 22.3%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$289 million (Up by 4.8%)
- Vehicles: -$274.8 million (Down by -19.6%)
- Cereals: -$234.2 million (Up by 63.1%)
- Iron, steel: -$187.4 million (Up by 19.8%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$184.6 million (Up by 18.4%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: -$124.9 million (Down by -32.4%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$106.2 million (Down by -7.8%)
Burkina Faso has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits related to the mineral fuels including oil category. That category was weighed down by red ink for refined petroleum oils, electricity, petroleum gas and petroleum coke.
Burkinabe Export Companies
Not one Burkinabe corporation ranks on the Forbes Global 2000 list.
Wikipedia lists companies located in Burkina Faso. Selected examples are shown below.
- Air Burkina (airliner)
- Faso Airways (airliner)
- Tovio (sportswear, equipment)
In macroeconomic terms, Burkina Faso’s total exported goods represent 7.8% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($58.6 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 7.8% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 9.6% for 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Burkina Faso’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
An key indicator of economic performance is the country’s unemployment rate. Burkina Faso’s unemployment rate averaged 5.2% for 2022, same as its jobless rate for 2021.
Burkina Faso’s capital city is Ouagadougou.
See also OPEC Countries Crude Oil Exports Sales Data, Report Card for Trade Surpluses and Deficits by Country and Top Cork Exporting Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Africa: Burkina Faso. Accessed on October 6, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on October 6, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (Domestic Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on October 6, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on October 6, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on October 6, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on October 6, 2023
Wikipedia, Burkina Faso. Accessed on October 6, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on October 6, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Burkina Faso. Accessed on October 6, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on October 6, 2023