Mozambique flag Mozambique: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Mozambique

Foreign Trade in Figures

Mozambique is open to foreign trade, which represents more than 116% of the country's GDP (World Bank, 2019). It is a member of the WTO, and of the South African Development Community (SADC), and has signed trade agreements with Malawi and Zimbabwe. In February 2018, Mozambique joined the EU–SADC EPA that was signed in June 2016 by Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. The country also signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. The government seeks to reform its trade regulations to improve its business climate and encourage exports. Customs duties remain high and there are numerous non-tariff barriers in the country (such as slow customs clearance procedures). The country primarily exports natural resources (aluminium, coke and coal, electrical energy, hydrocarbons, titanium, gemstones), tobacco and sugar. Mozambique imports hydrocarbons, metal products (aluminium), electrical energy, vehicles, boats, foodstuffs (rice, wheat, and fish), cements and medications.

Mozambique's main customers are South Africa, India, the United Kingdom, China, Italy and the Netherlands. Its main suppliers are South Africa, China, India, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Portugal (Comtrade). Mozambique could become one of the largest exporters of natural gas in the world by 2024 (the country is home to the third largest reserve in Africa) thanks to the discovery of new reserves. The planned construction of natural gas power plants as well as the construction of a new dam should allow the country to increase its exports of electricity to neighboring countries. Export infrastructure (railways, deep water ports, liquefied natural gas plants) is also under construction, and will support exports of natural gas and coal to Asia. However, the Islamist insurgency in Cabo Delgado, a key region for gas production, will delay LNG projects.

Mozambique's trade balance is negative and is expected to remain negative until exports of coal and gas to Asia develop. It increased recently due the capital goods imports related to reconstruction and liquefied natural gas projects. In 2020, merchandise imports decreased to USD 6.47 billion, while exports slowed down to USD 3.59 billion. Imports of services reduced to USD 2.38 billion, while exports only reached USD 764 million (WTO). The trade deficit in goods amounted to USD -2.29 billion, and it reached USD -4.03 billion including services (World Bank). In 2022, a rebound in coal and aluminium exports is expected, and the start of LNG production at the Coral South offshore site should strengthen exports from June 2022 (Coface). Capital goods imports are expected to increase but the suspension of LNG projects could impact imports.

Foreign Trade Values 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 5,7456,9447,4286,4718,621
Exports of Goods (million USD) 4,7255,0124,6693,5895,579
Imports of Services (million USD) 2,9634,3222,7802,3842,478
Exports of Services (million USD) 658779931764761

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20172018201920202021
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 99.7127.2112.095.9100.2
Trade Balance (million USD) -498-972-2,084-2,294-2,252
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -2,671-4,487-3,903-4,260-3,987
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -12.943.4-1.5-22.42.8
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 3.947.9-9.5-27.07.5
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 61.182.379.766.368.8
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 38.644.932.329.631.4

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20222023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change)
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change)

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

International Economic Cooperation
Member of Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Member of African Union

Member of Cotonou Agreement

Member of African Growth and Opportunity Act beneficiary country


Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
South Africa 16.7%
India 15.7%
Netherlands 11.0%
China 9.6%
United Kingdom 7.3%
See More Countries 39.7%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
South Africa 26.1%
China 11.0%
India 8.6%
United Arab Emirates 8.3%
Singapore 6.2%
See More Countries 39.8%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.


Main Products

5.1 bn USD of products exported in 2021
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels...Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels manufactured from coal 21.1%
Unwrought aluminiumUnwrought aluminium 13.4%
Electrical energyElectrical energy 8.9%
Titanium ores and concentratesTitanium ores and concentrates 6.6%
Coke and semi-coke of coal, of lignite or of peat,...Coke and semi-coke of coal, of lignite or of peat, whether or not agglomerated; retort carbon 6.5%
See More Products 43.4%
8.6 bn USD of products imported in 2021
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 12.2%
RiceRice 4.4%
Fluorides; fluorosilicates, fluoroaluminates and...Fluorides; fluorosilicates, fluoroaluminates and other complex fluorine salts (excl. inorganic or organic compounds of mercury) 3.6%
Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined...Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 3.4%
Wheat and meslinWheat and meslin 2.9%
See More Products 73.5%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. 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, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: March 2023