Madagascar exported US$2.7 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2021. That dollar amount reflects a -3.7% decrease since 2017 but a 38.2% increase from 2020 to 2021.
Madagascar’s top 5 customers for its exported goods are France, United States of America, mainland China, Japan and Canada. Collectively, that quintet of main trading partners bought about two-thirds (66.2%) of overall export sales from Madagascar during 2021.
Applying a continental lens, 35.5% of Madagascar exports by value were delivered to European countries while 33.8% were sold to importers in Asia. Madagascar shipped another 24.2% worth of goods to North America.
Smaller percentages arrived in fellow African countries (6%) and Oceania (0.3%) led by Australia then Latin America (0.1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
Madagascar’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 25 of Madagascar’s top trading partners in terms of export sales. That is, countries that imported the most Malagasy shipments by dollar value during 2021. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Malagasy exports.
- France: US$536.7 million (19.8% of total Malagasy exports)
- United States: $506.1 million (18.7%)
- China: $363.3 million (13.4%)
- Japan: $237.9 million (8.8%)
- Canada: $148 million (5.5%)
- Netherlands: $143.2 million (5.3%)
- Germany: $125.7 million (4.6%)
- India: $104.8 million (3.9%)
- South Africa: $89.8 million (3.3%)
- Taiwan: $45.3 million (1.7%)
- Indonesia: $40.9 million (1.5%)
- Singapore: $32.4 million (1.2%)
- Switzerland: $32.2 million (1.2%)
- Mauritius: $29.1 million (1.1%)
- United Kingdom: $27.1 million (1%)
- Belgium: $23.7 million (0.9%)
- Vietnam: $23.4 million (0.9%)
- United Arab Emirates: $22.4 million (0.8%)
- Spain: $18.6 million (0.7%)
- Italy: $18.2 million (0.7%)
- South Korea: $12.3 million (0.5%)
- Sweden: $11.2 million (0.4%)
- Turkey: $10.6 million (0.4%)
- Kenya: $9 million (0.3%)
- Portugal: $7.5 million (0.3%)
The bulk of sales (96.8%) for Malagasy exports in 2021 are attributed to the above 25 trade partners.
Strongest gains from 2020 to 2021 belong to Japan (up 285.5%), Taiwan (up 224.9%), mainland China (up 209.1%), Canada (up 135.1%), Singapore (up 118.1%) and Switzerland (up 86.1%).
Leading the year-over-year decliners were the United Arab Emirates (down -70.7%), South Korea (down -65.8%) and Spain (down -41.4%).
Countries Causing Highest Trade Deficits for Madagascar
Overall Madagascar incurred a -$1.7 billion trade deficit for 2021, expanding by 30.6% from the -$1.3 billion in red ink during 2020.
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
Madagascar incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- China: -US$633.8 million (country-specific trade deficit in 2021)
- Oman: -$386.9 million
- India: -$286.7 million
- United Arab Emirates: -$202.4 million
- Malaysia: -$143.9 million
- Pakistan: -$121 million
- Egypt: -$115.4 million
- South Africa: -$103.1 million
- Mauritius: -$96.1 million
- Brazil: -$68.5 million
Among Madagascar’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Malagasy deficits with Oman (up 669%), Pakistan (up 89.8%) and Brazil (up 66.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Madagascar’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Madagascar to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Countries Generating Greatest Trade Surpluses for Madagascar
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
Madagascar incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- United States: US$401.3 million (country-specific trade surplus in 2021)
- France: $289.4 million
- Canada: $138.8 million
- Japan: $128 million
- Netherlands: $118.7 million
- Germany: $31.5 million
- Singapore: $28.6 million
- Switzerland: $25 million
- Taiwan: $13.6 million
- Comoros: $6.2 million
Among Madagascar’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Malagasy surpluses with Japan (up 465.3%), Canada (up 160.2%) and Singapore (up 145.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.
In addition, Madagascar went from enduring a -$17.8 million deficit trading with Taiwan in 2020 to garnering a $13.6 million surplus for 2021.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Madagascar’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Madagascar to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Madagascar’s Export Companies
Not one Malagasy corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists companies based in Madagascar. Selected examples are shown below:
- Air Madagascar (international/domestic airliner)
- Karenjy (automobiles)
- Madacom (telecommunications, internet services)
- Madagascar Oil (oil, gas)
- Madarail (national railways)
See also Top African Export Countries, Madagascar’s Top 10 Imports, Seychelles Top 10 Exports and Madagascar’s Top 10 Exports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Country Profiles. Accessed on March 31, 2022
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on July 4, 2021
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 31, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 31, 2022
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 31, 2022
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Madagascar. Accessed on March 31, 2022
Wikipedia, Madagascar. Accessed on March 31, 2022