Top suppliers accounting for 57% of Egypt’s international purchases were: China (15%), United States (6.7%), Saudi Arabia (6.3%), Germany (5.8%), Turkey (4.9%), Italy (4.3%), Russia (4.2%), India (3.8%), Kuwait (3.3%), Brazil (3.2%), Ukraine (2.6%) and Spain (2.4%).
From a continental perspective, 47% of Egypt’s total imports by value were purchased from Asian countries. European trade partners supplied 37.3% of overall import purchases by Egypt.
Smaller percentages came from exporters in North America (7.7%), Latin America (5.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (2%) and Oceania (0.8%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Given Egypt’s population of 100.9 million people, its total $60.3 billion in 2020 imports translates to roughly $600 in average yearly product demand from every person in the northeast African country.
Egypt’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Egypt’s import purchases during 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Egypt.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$7.1 billion (11.7% of total imports)
- Machinery including computers: $5.3 billion (8.7%)
- Cereals: $4.6 billion (7.7%)
- Vehicles: $4.6 billion (7.7%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $4 billion (6.6%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $3 billion (4.9%)
- Iron, steel: $2.6 billion (4.4%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $2.3 billion (3.8%)
- Oil seeds: $1.9 billion (3.2%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $1.9 billion (3.2%)
Egypt’s top 10 imports accounted for almost three-fifths (57.7%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
None of the above top import categories grew from 2019 to 2020.
Leading the decliners were the electrical machinery or equipment (down -42.4%) and mineral fuels including oil (down -36.1%) product categories. The latter was weighed down by shrinking Egyptian imports of refined petroleum oils and gases.
Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented the adjacent virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.
In 2020, Egyptian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related goods.
- Crude oil: US$3.8 billion (up 30.9% from 2019)
- Processed petroleum oils: $1.6 billion (down -72.6%)
- Petroleum gases: $1.2 billion (up 14.1%)
- Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $119.7 million (down -41.2%)
- Coke, semi-coke: $104.7 million (down -68%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $85.1 million (down -69%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $61.3 million (down -72.6%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $10.5 million (down -12.1%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $7.7 million (up 24.5%)
- Peat: $4.2 million (down -18.9%)
Among these import subcategories, Egyptian purchases of crude oil (up 30.9%), petroleum jelly and mineral waxes (up 24.5%) and petroleum gases (up 14.1%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported mineral fuels-related goods among Egyptian businesses and consumers.
In 2020, Egyptian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.
- Computers, optical readers: US$328.8 million (down -24.6% from 2019)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $291.9 million (down -31.8%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $291.8 million (down -33.2%)
- Liquid pumps and elevators: $277.2 million (down -16%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $267.3 million (down -14.1%)
- Refrigerators, freezers: $261.5 million (down -16.1%)
- Air or vacuum pumps: $260.2 million (down -18.8%)
- Lifting/loading machinery: $185.9 million (up 0.2%)
- Connector/insulating parts: $167.7 million (down -44.8%)
- Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $161.2 million (down -5.1%)
Among these import subcategories, only Egyptian purchases of lifting or loading machinery (up 0.2%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
These amounts and the percentage gain within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery including computers among Egyptian businesses and consumers.
In 2020, Egyptian importers spent the most on the following subcategories of cereals.
- Wheat: US$2.7 billion (down -10.9% from 2019)
- Corn: $1.9 billion (down -2.5%)
- Rice: $46.7 million (down -84.1%)
- Other cereals like buckwheat, millet, canary seed: $3.5 million (down -42.5%)
- Barley: $1.6 million (down -29.5%)
- Rye $764,000 (no 2019 data)
- Sorghum grain: $465,000 (down -66.6%)
- Oats: $18,000 (up 1,700%)
Among these import subcategories, only Egyptian purchases of oats (up 1,700%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
These amounts and the percentage gain within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported cereals among Egyptian businesses and consumers.
In 2020, Egyptian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles.
- Cars: US$2.8 billion (up 8.1% from 2019)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $616.8 million (down -21.7%)
- Trucks: $387.4 million (down -6.2%)
- Tractors: $279.4 million (down -15.9%)
- Public-transport vehicles: $224.9 million (up 3%)
- Special purpose vehicles: $106.5 million (down -23.6%)
- Motorcycle parts/accessories: $87.5 million (up 6.6%)
- Chassis fitted with engine: $57.8 million (down -7%)
- Trailers: $48.7 million (down -6%)
- Motorcycles: $22.4 million (down -14.2%)
Among these import subcategories, Egyptian purchases of cars (up 8.1%), motorcycle parts or accessories (up 6.6%) and public-transport vehicles (up 3%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of vehicles-related imports among Egyptian businesses and consumers.
See also Egypt’s Top 10 Exports, China’s Top 10 Exports and Top Asian Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook report on South Asia: Sri Lanka. Accessed on September 15, 2021
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 15, 2021
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 15, 2021
Wikipedia, Egypt. Accessed on September 15, 2021