Egypt flag Egypt: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Egypt

Foreign Trade in Figures

Trade represents 37% of the country's GDP (World Bank). The Egyptian market has been gradually opening up, with the ratification of various free trade agreements, especially the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was ratified by Egypt in 2019. Petroleum products (oil and gas) are the most traded items, both for imports and exports. Other important exports are gold, fertilizers, and citrus fruit. Imports are driven by petroleum (as Egypt’s reserves are much less significant than those of other Gulf countries), machinery and mechanical appliances, cereals (the country imports around 40% of its food requirements according to FAO), cars, and medicines (World Trade Organisation and International Trade Center).

In 2022, Egypt's main export partners were Turkey (7.9%), Spain (7.3%), Italy (6.9%), Saudi Arabia (5%), the U.S. (4.5%), and South Korea (4.1%); whereas exports came chiefly from China (14.3% of total imports), Saudi Arabia (8.9%), the United States (7.2%), India (4.3%) and Russia (4.2% - data Comtrade). Egypt is making concerted efforts to enhance its exports and curtail imports in a bid to bolster its foreign currency reserves, which have been strained since the commencement of the Russo-Ukrainian crisis in late February 2022.

The Egyptian economy has a structural trade deficit, which was estimated at 6.8% of GDP in 2022 (World Bank). In the same year, the country’s total exports of goods stood at USD 48.8 billion (+19.7% compared to one year earlier), whereas imports reached USD 85.8 billion (+16.9% year-on-year). As for services, Egypt exported USD 31.5 billion (+44.2% y-o-y thanks to the positive performance of the tourism sector), importing USD 25.4 billion (+9.8% y-o-y – data WTO). During the first nine months of 2023, Egypt experienced a 22% decrease in exports, amounting to USD 30.8 billion as reported by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). IImports followed a similar trend, witnessing a 21% year-on-year decline, at USD 58.5 billion, down from USD 74 billion during the corresponding period in 2022.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 70,99160,48874,45395,67078,895
Exports of Goods (million USD) 29,00027,07841,31051,28039,853
Imports of Services (million USD) 21,19318,19923,12625,39819,767
Exports of Services (million USD) 25,05115,05321,89731,57437,047

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 45.941.132.129.937.0
Trade Balance (million USD) -29,590-29,285-29,234-34,471-27,024
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -24,709-25,428-32,381-35,700-20,848
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 7.2-8.6-18.70.524.3
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 31.6-2.7-23.7-13.857.3
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 27.924.519.719.321.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 18.016.612.510.615.1

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 2.3-8.22.78.78.8
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -17.56.9-0.612.612.1

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Egypt is a member of the following international economic organisations: WTO, Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), ICC, Black Sea Economic Cooperation Zone (BSEC) (observer), G-15, G-24, G-77, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), IMF, Arab League, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Egypt click here. International organisation membership of Egypt is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Egypt can be consulted here.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2023
Türkiye 9.0%
Saudi Arabia 6.4%
United Arab Emirates 5.3%
United States 4.6%
Libya 4.3%
See More Countries 70.4%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2023
China 15.6%
United States 6.5%
Saudi Arabia 6.3%
Russia 6.0%
Germany 4.9%
See More Countries 60.8%

Source: Comtrade, 2024. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

52.1 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 19.4%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 9.8%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 6.1%
Mineral or chemical nitrogenous fertilisers (excl....Mineral or chemical nitrogenous fertilisers (excl. those in pellet or similar forms, or in packages with a gross weight of <= 10 kg) 5.3%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 3.1%
See More Products 56.2%
96.2 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 6.0%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 4.8%
Wheat and meslinWheat and meslin 4.4%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.4%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 3.3%
See More Products 77.9%

Source: Comtrade, 2024. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import-Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2024. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: June 2024