That estimated dollar amount reflects a -55.4% decline from $199.9 million five years earlier in 2017.
Year over year, overall sales of exported goods from the Central African Republic accelerated by 117.3% compared to $41 million during 2020.
The top 5 most valuable goods exported from the Central African Republic in 2021 were rough wood, unwrought gold, sawn wood, unmounted diamonds, and heavy machinery. Combined, those leading exports represent well more than four-fifths (87.3%) of Central African Republic’s total revenues from international shipments during 2021. Such a high percentage suggests an intensely concentrated portfolio of exported products.
Central African Republic’s Major Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data shows that 90.1% of products exported from the Central African Republic were bought by importers in: United Arab Emirates (24.3% of the global total), Sweden (15.2%), France (10.2%), Switzerland (8%), Uganda (7%), mainland China (6.9%), Cameroon (4%), Benin (3.6%), Chad (2.9%), Vietnam (2.73%), Burkina Faso (2.72%), and Congo (2.6%).
From a continental perspective, 39% of Central African Republic exports by value were delivered to European countries while 35.6% were sold to importers in Asia. Central African Republic shipped another 25.3% worth of goods to fellow African nations.
Tinier percentages went to North America’s United States (0.1%) and Latin America (0.01%) including the Caribbean specifically the Turk and Caicos Islands.
Given Central African Republic’s population of 4.92 million people, its total $89.2 million in 2021 exports translates to roughly $20 for every resident in the African country. That dollar metric outshines the average $10 per capita one year earlier in 2020.
Central African Republic’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups categorizes the highest dollar value in Central African global shipments during 2021. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Central African Republic.
- Wood: US$54.4 million (61% of total exports)
- Gems, precious metals: $22.3 million (25%)
- Machinery including computers: $2.8 million (3.2%)
- Vehicles: $2.1 million (2.4%)
- Cotton: $878,000 (1%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $868,000 (1%)
- Oil seeds: $852,000 (1%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $751,000 (0.8%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $426,000 (0.5%)
- Copper: $287,000 (0.3%)
Central African Republic’s top 10 exports accounted for 98.5% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Central African Republic’s top 10 exports accounted for 96% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Copper was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 9,467% from 2020 to 2021.
In second place for improving export sales was beverages, spirits and vinegar via a 8,580% advance.
Central African Republic’s shipments of oil seeds posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 4,912%.
The leading decliner among Central African Republic’s top 10 export categories was vehicles thanks to its -79.1% year-over-year drop.
From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Central African Republic’s most valuable exported product in 2021 was rough wood (48.8% of its global total). In second place was unwrought gold (19.2%) trailed by sawn wood (11.9%), unset diamonds (5.7%), heavy machinery including bulldozers and excavators (1.6%), uncombed cotton (1%), then alcoholic beverages (also 1%).
Products Generating Central African Republic’s Biggest Trade Surpluses
The following types of Central African 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$17 million (Up by 4.2% since 2020)
- Wood: US$54.2 million (Up by 791.1% since 2020)
- Gems, precious metals: $21.8 million (Up by 27.9%)
- Cotton: $876,000 (Reversing a -$233,000 deficit)
- Oil seeds: $702,000 (Down by -401.3%)
- Collector items, art, antiques: $149,000 (2020 data unavailable)
- Feathers, artificial flowers, hair: $126,000 (2020 data unavailable)
- Woodpulp: $39,000 (2020 data unavailable)
- Ores, slag, ash: $10,000 (2020 data unavailable)
- Vegetable plaiting materials: $1,000 (2020 data unavailable)
Central African Republic generated positive net exports in the international trade of gold and diamonds. In turn, these cashflows indicate Central African Republic’s strong competitive advantages under the gems and precious metals category.
Products Causing Central African Republic’s Worst Trade Deficits
Overall, Central African Republic incurred a -$179.9 million trade deficit for 2021 shrinking by -64.3% from the -$503.9 million in red ink during 2020.
Below are exports from Central African Republic that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Central African Republic’s goods trail Central African importer spending on foreign products.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -US$47.5 million (Down by -12.8% since 2020)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$32.3 million (Down by -38.6%)
- Machinery including computers: -$25.8 million (Down by -23.4%)
- Vehicles: -$17.2 million (Down by -80.7%)
- Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: -$10.7 million (Down by -38.1%)
- Meat: -$10.7 million (Down by -6.4%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$8.2 million (Up by 11.8%)
- Miscellaneous food preparations: -$7.8 million (Down by -46.2%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$6.7 million (Down by -48.1%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: -$5.8 million (Down by -42.7%)
Central African Republic has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the product category entitled electrical machinery and equipment.
Central African Export Companies
Not one Central African corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia does list international trade-related companies from Central African Republic. Selected examples are shown below.
- Banque Internationale pour la Centrafrique (commercial bank)
- Enerca (electrical infrastructure)
- Groupe Kamach (timber, mines, real estate)
- Socatel (telecommunications)
In macroeconomic terms, Central African Republic’s total exported goods represent 1.8% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2021 ($5 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 1.8% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2021 compares to 0.9% for 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Central African Republic’s total economic performance, albeit based on a relatively short timeframe.
Central African Republic’s capital city is Bangui.
See also Uganda’s Top 10 Exports, Somalia’s Top 10 Exports, Burundi’s Top 10 Exports and Kenya’s Top 10 Exports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Africa: Central African Republic. Accessed on October 11, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on October 11, 2022
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity)
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on October 11, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on October 11, 2022
Wikipedia, Central African Republic. Accessed on October 11, 2022
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Central African Republic. Accessed on October 11, 2022
Wikipedia, Flag of Central African Republic. Accessed on October 11, 2022
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Bangui, Central African Republic. Accessed on October 11, 2022