That dollar amount reflects a 14.8% increase from $1.8 billion five years earlier during 2017.
Year over year, overall sales of Eswatini’s exports accelerated by 18.1% compared to $1.75 billion for 2020.
Eswatini (or Eswatini) is a landlocked nation in southern Africa surrounded by South Africa and Mozambique on its northeastern border.
Eswatini’s Major Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data shows that 93% of products exported from Eswatini were bought by importers in: South Africa (67.9% of Eswatini’s global total), Kenya (5.6%), Nigeria (3.9%), Mozambique (3.4%), Zimbabwe (2.4%), United Kingdom (1.94%), Tanzania (1.92%), Botswana (1.5%), Spain (1.4%), Namibia (1.1%), Zambia (1%) and Uganda (0.9%).
From a continental perspective, 92.9% of Eswatini’s exports by value was delivered to fellow African countries while 5.5% was sold to importers in Europe. Eswatini shipped another 0.9% worth of goods to North America.
Tinier percentages went to Asia (0.6%), Oceania’s Australia and New Zealand (0.01%) then Latin America (0.0003%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
Given Eswatini’s population of 1.139 million people, its total $2.1 billion in 2021 exports translates to roughly $1,800 for every resident in the southern African country. That dollar metric is about the same as the average per capita one year earlier during 2020.
Eswatini’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Swazi global shipments during 2021. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Eswatini.
- Perfumes, cosmetics: US$621.3 million (30% of total exports)
- Sugar, sugar confectionery: $469.4 million (22.7%)
- Other chemical goods: $267.1 million (12.9%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $149.8 million (7.2%)
- Wood: $142.2 million (6.9%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $73.4 million (3.5%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $49.4 million (2.4%)
- Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $38.5 million (1.9%)
- Cereal/milk preparations: $28.9 million (1.4%)
- Machinery including computers: $26.6 million (1.3%)
Eswatini’s top 10 exports accounted for 90.2% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Cereal or milk preparations represent the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 1,809% from 2020 to 2021.
In second place for improving export sales was wood via a 49.7% advance.
Eswatini’s shipments of knitted or crocheted clothing or accessories posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 46.6%.
The lone decliner among Eswatini’s top 10 export categories was beverages, spirits and vinegar thanks to its -3.1% year-over-year drop.
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, In 2021, Eswatini’s most valuable exported products were scents used for beverage or industrial manufacturing (29.9%), sugar (19.5%), chemical industry products or residuals (12.9%), sawn wood (4.2%), unknitted and non-crocheted men’s suits and trousers (3.3%), unknitted and non-crocheted women’s clothing (2.9%), fuel wood or wood chips and sawdust (1.7%), solid-form sugars and fructose or glucose (1.6%), sugar confectionery excluding cocoa (also 1.6%), and ethyl alcohol (1.4%).
Products Generating Eswatini’s Best Trade Surpluses
The following types of Swazi 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.
- Perfumes, cosmetics: US$557.9 million (Up by 16.7% since 2020)
- Sugar, sugar confectionery: $451.9 million (Up by 5.5%)
- Other chemical goods: $227.5 million (Up by 27.7%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $128.9 million (Up by 28.7%)
- Wood: $110.9 million (Up by 43.6%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $51.2 million (Up by 58.3%)
- Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $17.6 million (Up by 8.3%)
- Fruits, nuts: $8.1 million (Up by 0.2%)
- Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: $7.8 million (Up by 1.9%)
- Knit or crochet fabric: $3.1 million (Down by -42.5%)
Eswatini has highly positive net exports in the international trade of perfumes and cosmetics. In turn, these cashflows indicate Eswatini’s strong competitive advantages under the perfumes and cosmetics product category.
Products Causing Eswatini’s Worst Trade Deficits
Overall Eswatini achieved a -$54.4 million product trade deficit for 2021, reversing $146.8 million in black ink one year earlier in 2020.
Below are exports from Eswatini that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Eswatini’s goods trail Swazi importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$339.1 million (Up by 53.7% since 2020)
- Vehicles: -$107.9 million (Up by 28%)
- Machinery including computers: -$99.6 million (Up by 42.1%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$92.3 million (Up by 30.7%)
- Cotton: -$88.5 million (Up by 42.6%)
- Cereals: -$85.5 million (Up by 12.7%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$85.4 million (Up by 50.1%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$73.1 million (Up by 240.6%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$59.6 million (Up by 6.2%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$51.3 million (Up by 31.7%)
Eswatini has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the mineral fuels including oil category. Red ink flowed particularly for refined petroleum oils, electrical energy and petroleum gas.
Examples of Eswatini’s Export Companies
Not one Swazi corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000 for 2021.
Wikipedia lists companies from Eswatini that support or are related to international trade transactions and processes. Selected examples are shown below.
- Central Bank of Eswatini (state-owned bank)
- Eswatini Airlink (state-owned airliner)
- Swazi Rail (state-owned railroad)
- Tibiyo TakaNgwane (media/sugar/real estate conglomerate)
In macroeconomic terms, Eswatini’s total exported goods represent 15.9% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2021 ($11 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 15.9% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2021 compares to 16.1% for 2020. These percentages suggest a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Eswatini’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Eswatini’s capital city is Mbabane.
See also South Africa’s Top 10 Exports, Mozambique’s Top 10 Exports and Kenya’s Top 10 Exports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook report on Africa: Eswatini. Accessed on October 12, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on October 12, 2022
Foreign Trade , United States Census Bureau. Accessed on October 12, 2022
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on October 12, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on October 12, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on October 12, 2022
Wikimedia Commons, Flag of Eswatini. Accessed on October 12, 2022
Wikipedia, Eswatini. Accessed on October 12, 2022
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Eswatini. Accessed on October 12, 2022
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Mbabane, Eswatini. Accessed on October 12, 2022