Export structure and agricultural exports

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As noted earlier, FDCs are heavily dependent both on food imports and on export earnings from agriculture (Tables 7A and 7B).

In 1990, the share of agricultural exports in total exports exceeded 80 percent in ten of the 26 countries for which data are available. In another five countries the share exceeded 60 percent.

TABLE 4
Share of cereals in food imports (by country)

  1961 1975-77 1989-91
  (.........................%...........................)
Cape Verde 49.0 46.5 48.4
Gambia 50.0 50.1 30.5
Lesotho 2.7 23.1 14.4
Djibouti 54.4 25.0 28.8
Mozambique 37.2 70.9 67.7
Guinea-Bissau 40.5 60.0 73.0
Somalia 45.8 62.9 74.5
Comoros 84.9 65.7 57.5
Sierra Leone 25.3 22.6 54.3
Ethiopia 19.4 61.4 75.5
Burkina Faso 15.8 34.9 48.6
Togo 14.4 14.7 43.6
Senegal 3.2 45.5 47.5
Benin 21.6 38.8 51.8
Rwanda 0.0 10.8 24.1
Mali 7.7 41.6 32.1
Mauritania 40.8 37.1 35.3
Haiti 48.0 64.0 48.3
Nicaragua 43.7 30.5 50.8
Dominican Republic 44.3 64.8 42.2
Samoa 23.3 23.4 18.7
Bangladesh 96.1 93.3 52.6
Cambodia 17.7 88.5 80.4
Afghanistan 33.6 6.4 38.0
Nepal 3.4 0.5 3.7
Laos 88.5 92.3 44.3
Sri Lanka 46.4 85.2 40.5
Maldives 29.7 41.8 54.2
Egypt 66.8 68.7 54.9
Yemen 23.9 31.3 42.3
Sudan 18.2 16.8 56.9

Source: FAO.

TABLE 5
Share of cereals in food imports (by region)

  1961-63 1975-77 1989-91
  (......................%..............................)
Sub-Saharan Africa 32.1 43.6 48.4
Latin America and the Caribbean 45.1 56.9 45.8
Asia and the Pacific 63.2 82.1 42.9
Near East and North Africa 52.1 57.8 52.6
TOTAL 51.1 60.3 49.2

Source: FAO.

TABLE 6
Import structure by origin (all products, all food items)

Origin

All products

All food items

  1970 1980 1991 1970 1980 1991
Developed market economy countries 72.2 62.7 63.5 61.4 62.7 57.1
Developing countries 19.0 29.6 29.2 28.5 27.7 34.9
Central and Eastern European countries 6.9 5.9 1.7 4.6 3.9 1.6
Socialist countries of Asia 1.8 1.8 5.6 5.5 5.6 6.4
World 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Source: UNCTAD, Handbook of International Trade and Development Statistics, 1993.

In general, however, this share tended to decline over the past three decades, reflecting to a large extent the poor performances of the agricultural export sector.

In only 11 out of the 26 countries did the exports of manufactures account for more than 20 percent of total export earnings. In three Afghanistan, Egypt and to a lesser extent Senegal - fuels are an important export item.

In many FDCs agricultural exports are highly concentrated on one or a few agricultural products (Table 8, p. 50). However, among the countries that have shown a distinct trend between 1961 and 1992, a majority of about 60 percent have seen greater commodity diversification and only a minority showed an increase of the dependence on one or a few commodities.

The distinction between agricultural export products that compete with products in the developed countries and those that do not has significant policy implications. This distinction provides a broad indication of the extent to which FDCs as a group can expect to capture a larger share of developed country markets through successful price competition; or whether they have to depend mainly on the demand for their "non-competing" agricultural exports. In other words, countries that specialize in non-competing products need to compete among themselves to capture developed country markets, which in many cases are already saturated or have limited long-term potential. On the other hand, markets for several competing products are more dynamic and can be expected to benefit from the trade liberalization and reductions in support consecutive to the Uruguay Round.

TABLE 7A
Export structure by main categories (percentage of total value of exports)

Country

All food

Agricultural raw materials

  1970 1990 1970 1990
Cape Verde 80.6 83.3 2 1.9 -
Gambia 99.8 87.3 6 0.2 1.6 6
Lesotho ... ... ... ...
Djibouti ... ... ... ...
Mozambique 57.2 65.7 7 23.1 4.0 7
Guinea-Bissau ... ... ... ...
Somalia 85.5 85.6 3 8.2 11.1 3
Comoros 69.3 71.0 7 0.4 1.6 7
Sierra Leone 16.4 31.17 0.7 0.5 7
Ethiopia 85.9 77.2 6 10.7 16.8 6
Burkina Faso 67.9 24.5 6 27.6 43.2 6
Togo 67.2 22.1 7 2.2 16.2 7
Senegal 64.8 45.6 7 4.1 2.6 7
Benin 70.9 61.8 2 18.3 25.0 2
Rwanda 60.7 79.5 3.2 11.0
Mali 64.8 22.6 23.9 65.8
Mauritania 8.3 64.3 5 2.5 0.2 5
Haiti 51.7 21.7 7 5.8 1.0 7
Nicaragua 56.8 73.4 4 23.8 13.8 4
Dominican Republic 87.8 22.0 0.1 0.5
Samoa 94.4 89.1 7 1.0 3.4 7
Bangladesh 9.8 1 15.0 7 26.4 1 7.7 7
Cambodia ... ... ... ...
Afghanistan 36.1 23.9 6 35.8 16.0 6
Nepal 28.6 1 22.1 7 39.8 1 11.6 7
Laos 5.5 30.9 2 27.6 38.6 2
Sri Lanka 72.6 34.0 25.3 8.6
Maldives ... ... ... ...
Egypt 21.3 8.9 7 46.3 11.4 7
Yemen 82.7 50.0 4 7.6 6.2 4
Sudan 24.6 38.7 74.6 - 58.4

Data collected in 1975.
Data collected in 1980.
Data collected in 1985.
4 Data collected in 1986.
5 Data collected in 1987.
6 Data collected in 1988.
7 Data collected in 1989.

TABLE 7B
Export structure by main categories (percentage of total value of exports)

Country Fuels Ores and metals Manufactured
  1970 1990 1970 1990 1970 1990
Cape Verde - - 11.0 2.8 6 6.5 11.1 6
Gambia - - - - - 10.2 6
Lesotho ... ... ... ... ... ...
Djibouti ... ... ... ... ... ...
Mozambique 8.1 0.1 7 2.1 12.1 7 9.5 17.5 7
Guinea-Bissau ... ... ... ... ... ...
Somalia - 0.2 3 0.1 0.2 3 4.9 1.9 3
Comoros - - - 0.8 7 30.2 26.6 7
Sierra Leone 2.6 3.5 7 18.9 43.4 7 60.8 20.6 7
Ethiopia 1.2 3.0 6 0.6 0.2 6 1.6 2.7 6
Burkina Faso - - 0.1 0.2 6 4.4 7.3 6
Togo - - 24.9 53.4 7 5.7 7.1 7
Senegal 2.9 18.6 7 9.3 7.0 7 18.8 25.9 7
Benin 0.2 4.2 2 0.1 1.1 10.6 3.4 2
Rwanda - - 35.0 1.4 - 1.5
Mali 0.1 0.1 0.7 0.1 9.6 6.8
Mauritania 0.1 3.9 5 88.3 31.2 5 0.8 0.4 5
Haiti     16.9 1.0 7 23.7 71.9 7
Nicaragua 0.1 1.0 4 3.2 1.3 4 16.0 7.3 4
Dominican            
Republic - - 7.5 1.5 3.6 70.4
Samoa - - - - 1.3 -
Bangladesh - 1.2 7 - - 63.6 1 75.2 7
Cambodia ... ... ... ... ... ...
Afghanistan 16.9 42.9 6 _ - 10.9 17.1 6
Nepal - - - - 37.7 1 65.8 7
Laos - - 36.1 22.5 2 30.8 7.6 2
Sri Lanka - 6.2 0.7 1.5 1.4 49.3
Maldives ... ... ... ... ... ...
Egypt 4.8 3 0.5 7 0.6 10.2 7 27.1 39.0 7
Yemen - 6.2 4 9.5 1.4 4 0.1 33.6 4
Sudan 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.1 1.3

Source: UNCTAD, Handbook of International Trade and Development Statistics, 1993

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