That dollar amount results from a 114.5% increase from $54.9 million five years earlier in 2018.
Year over year, overall sales of exported goods from the Central African Republic accelerated by 103.1% compared to $58 million during 2021.
Based on average exchange rates for the Central African Republic’s official currency in 2022, the Central African CFA franc depreciated by -12.3% against the US dollar since 2018 and diluted by -12.5% from 2021 to 2022. The weaker Central African CFA franc makes the Central African Republic’s exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive.
The top 5 most valuable goods exported from the Central African Republic in 2022 were unwrought gold, automobile parts or accessories, unmounted and unset diamonds, electrical machinery, and armored vehicles including tanks. Combined, those leading exports represent well over four-fifths (84.2%) of Central African Republic’s total revenues from international shipments during 2022. 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 98.1% of products exported from Central African Republic were bought by importers in: United Arab Emirates (41% of the African country’s total), Pakistan (19.8%), Italy (12.6%), France (9%), Cameroon (7.2%), Switzerland (2.8%), Germany (1.6%), Chad (1.02%), Vietnam (1.01%), Gabon (0.86%), mainland China (0.84%) and India (0.5%).
From a continental perspective, 63.6% of the Central African Republic’s exports by value was delivered to Asia countries while 26.9% was sold to importers in Europe. The Central African Republic shipped another 9.5% worth of goods to buyers located in fellow African countries.
Tinier percentages went to customers in North America (0.03%) and Latin America’s Turk and Caicos Islands (0.01%).
Given Central African Republic’s population of 5 million people, its total $117.8 million in 2022 exports translates to roughly $25 for every resident in the African country. That dollar metric exceeds the average $20 per capita one year earlier in 2021.
Central African Republic’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups categorizes the highest dollar value in Central African global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Central African Republic.
- Gems, precious metals: US$66.7 million (56.6% of total exports)
- Vehicles: $25.8 million (21.9%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $8.8 million (7.5%)
- Wood: $6.2 million (5.2%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: $4.1 million (3.5%)
- Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: $3 million (2.5%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: $677,000 (0.6%)
- Arms, ammunition: $621,000 (0.5%)
- Machinery including computers: $506,000 (0.4%)
- Toys, games: $377,000 (0.3%)
Central African Republic’s top 10 exports accounted for 99.1% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Aircraft and spacecraft was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 9,571% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was toys and games via a 6,183% advance.
Central African Republic’s shipments of electrical machinery and equipment posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 4,506%.
The leading decliner among Central African Republic’s top 10 export categories was machinery including computers, dragged down by a -74.4% year-over-year drop.
From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Central African Republic’s most valuable exported product in 2022 was unwrought gold (44.4% of the African country’s total). In second place were automobile parts or accessories (14.1%) trailed by unmounted and unset diamonds (12.2%), electrical machinery (7%), armored vehicles including tanks (6.6%), rough wood (3.2%), prefabricated buildings (3.1%), dress patterns plus other miscellaneous items (2.4%), sawn wood (1.9%) then aircraft parts (0.6%).
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$66.7 million (Up by 76.5% since 2021)
- Vehicles: $6.7 million (Reversing a -$12.3 million deficit)
- Wood: $5 million (Up by 6.8%)
- Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $15,000 (2021 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 -US$511.7 million trade deficit for 2022 expanding by 19.4% from the -$428.6 million in red ink during 2021.
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.
- Machinery including computers: -US$113.1 million (Up by 337.2% since 2021)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$60.3 million (Up by 43.5%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$46.1 million (Down by -51.8%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: -$42 million (Up by 2,311%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: -$37.5 million (Up by 24.3%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: -$28.9 million (Down by -2.6%)
- Arms, ammunition: -$27.7 million (Up by 761%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$23.7 million (Up by 21.5%)
- Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: -$19.4 million (Down by -0.4%)
- Meat: -$17 million (Up by 54.3%)
Central African Republic has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the product category entitled machinery including computers.
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 2.2% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($5.4 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 2.2% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 1.8% for 2022. 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.
Another key indicator of an economy’s health is its jobless rate. Central African Republic’s unemployment rate averaged 6.4% for 2022, down from an average 6.5% in 2021.
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 14, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on October 14, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity)
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on October 14, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on October 14, 2023
Wikipedia, Central African Republic. Accessed on October 14, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Central African Republic. Accessed on October 14, 2023
Wikipedia, Flag of Central African Republic. Accessed on October 14, 2023
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Bangui, Central African Republic. Accessed on October 14, 2023