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Ethiopia’s Exports Dropped 7% to $699.1 Million in First Quarter

By William Davison [Bloomberg]

Ethiopian exports dropped 7 percent to $699.1 million in the first quarter as shipments of coffee and oil seeds fell, the Trade Ministry said.

Foreign sales of coffee in the continent’s largest producer of the beans earned $199.3 million in the four months through Oct. 10, compared with $201.9 million in the same period a year earlier, the Addis Ababa-based ministry said in an e-mailed statement on Oct. 24. Ethiopia’s calendar has 13 months, one of which runs from Sept. 6 to Sept. 10.

The second-most valuable export in the quarter was gold, which increased 2 percent to $132.7 million, the ministry said. The stimulant qhat raised $69.5 million in foreign exchange, an increase of 1 percent, it said.

Ethiopia posted a trade deficit of $7.5 billion in the fiscal year ended July 7 as a result of slowing growth in exports and increased import costs, according to Access Capital, an Addis Ababa-based research group. Exports may earn $3.9 billion this fiscal year, compared with $3.2 billion last year, when they grew 14 percent, it said in August.

Foreign sales of oil seeds fell 27 percent in the quarter to 60.8 million, while exports of cereals surged 63 percent to $48.1 million, the ministry said. Shipments of leather products fell 20 percent to $24.8 million and sales of textiles dropped 28 percent to $19.8 million, the ministry said.

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