Egypt’s trade is characterized by huge trade deficits. The economy is highly dependent on oil exports. Since the 1990s, the government has pioneered several economic reforms through foreign donor aid. However, measurable benefits of these economic reforms are yet to be seen.
Egypt Trade: Exports
According to the 2009 estimates, Egypt’s export trade grossed over US$29 billion, a 22% surge from the previous year’s level. Oil export is central to the Egyptian economy. Based on the 2007 figures, Egypt is the 55th largest oil exporting country. It exports 155,200 barrels per day, approximately. However, the country has huge oil reserves which can act as fuel for the economy for coming decades. Apart from crude oil and petroleum products, the country also exports metal products, cotton, textiles and chemicals.
EU and the US are the biggest exporting markets for Egyptian products. Italy has the largest share of the Egyptian export pie, accounting for 9% of the total volume. It is followed by the US, Spain, India, Syria, Germany and Saudi Arabia.
Egypt: Export Volume
Egypt Trade: Imports
Egypt import volumes reached US$56.2 billion in 2009, a 24% rise from the previous year’s level. Due to surplus import, Egypt ha shad a negative balance of trade since the 1980s. Based on total import volumes, the country ranks 49th in the world. Heavy machinery, chemicals, food stuffs and wood products are the major items of import. The US is the largest import partner. It accounts for more than 10% of the total imports, followed by China, Italy, German and Saudi Arabia.
Egypt: Import Volume
Previously, Egypt used to be a strong trade ally of the communist bloc. However, it gradually shifted trade partners to enjoy greater benefits. Egypt has signed several international trade agreements with partnering countries that govern country’s international trade. It receives huge financial support from the US. This illustrates Egypt’s pro-western trade orientation.