Senegal flag Senegal: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Senegal

Foreign Trade in Figures

Senegal is an open economy where foreign trade accounts for 56% of its GDP (World Bank's latest available data). According to Comtrade, in 2020, the country’s main exports were gold (18.7%), petroleum oils (15.6%), frozen fish (7.6%) diphosphorus pentaoxide (6.7%), and groundnuts (5%). Meanwhile, main imports include petroleum oils (20.4%), rice (5.5%) and medicaments (3.4%).

The country's main export destinations in 2020 were Mali, Switzerland, India, China, and Australia while it imported mostly from France, China, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Nigeria. Senegal is a member of the Economic Community of West African States, and the country has trade agreements with several countries, including the EU, the United States, Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, and Australia. Given its growing influence in the African continent, China has become an increasingly important partner of Senegal, illustrated by the China-Africa summits and the boom of Senegalese exports to China. Senegal's trade policies are designed to help reduce the trade deficit, ensure regular supplies to the domestic market, promote local value chains, strengthen the regional integration process and access to international markets and promote competition. Under the Emerging Senegal Plan, the government seeks to deepen regional integration by further developing the infrastructure network; eliminating barriers to the free movement of persons, goods, and services; and developing intra-community trade.

Senegalese foreign trade is characterized by a structural current account deficit, which reaches an amount equivalent to more than 10% of GDP. Future offshore oil production will help narrow the deficit in the medium term. The trade deficit (of goods) for 2020 amounted to USD 3.9 billion. In 2020, imports of goods decreased to USD 7.8 billion while exports of goods decreased to USD 3.9 billion. The country imported services for the total value of USD 2.3 billion while its services exports amounted to USD 758 million (WTO).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 6,7298,0718,1437,8129,699
Exports of Goods (million USD) 2,9893,6234,1793,9295,202
Imports of Services (million USD) 1,4641,6431,8072,3273,051
Exports of Services (million USD) 1,1301,2161,2047581,076

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 54.157.761.862.859.3
Trade Balance (million USD) -1,965-2,702-3,396n/an/a
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -2,087-2,906-3,673n/an/a
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 6.716.79.05.32.6
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 4.18.28.211.2-4.6
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 32.535.838.838.536.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 21.621.922.924.322.4

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) -10.37.625.310.47.9
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -14.44.813.56.34.7

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Senegal is a member of the Economic and Monetary Union of Western Africa (UEMAO) and also adheres to the Franc Zone
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2021
Mali 20.2%
Switzerland 14.4%
India 9.8%
China 6.6%
Ivory Coast 4.2%
See More Countries 44.9%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2021
France 11.8%
China 9.7%
India 7.1%
Russia 5.7%
Nigeria 5.3%
See More Countries 60.4%

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

 
 

Main Products

5.2 bn USD of products exported in 2021
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 18.7%
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 14.9%
Diphosphorus pentaoxide; phosphoric acid;...Diphosphorus pentaoxide; phosphoric acid; polyphosphoric acids, whether or not chemically defined 9.2%
Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish...Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 5.7%
Groundnuts, whether or not shelled or broken (excl...Groundnuts, whether or not shelled or broken (excl. roasted or otherwise cooked) 5.4%
See More Products 46.1%
9.7 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 17.0%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 5.3%
RiceRice 4.9%
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) 3.2%
Wheat and meslinWheat and meslin 2.8%
See More Products 66.9%

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

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Latest Update: November 2022