Africa-China balance of trade gap is still widening
The Africa-China balance of trade showed a 5 billion dollar deficit over Africa against commercial transactions worth 186 billion dollars as at end of November 2018, reported Ecofin Agency. These figures were provided by China’s customs authority.

By the time final figures for 2018 are released and given the average growth rate over the same period, this deficit will most likely outpace the 200 billion dollar mark.

South Africa still tops the list of the world’s second largest economy partners in Africa, both in terms of global volumes and in terms of exports and imports.  China’s other major  markets in Africa comprise Nigeria and Egypt that have, each, consumed more than 10 billion dollars worth of Chinese products.

Although Xi Jinping’s China denies that its relationship with Africa only targets African countries’ commodities, it is quite revealing that the top five nations China trades with on the continent are incidentally the largest exporters of natural resources.

 Angola, which is Africa’s second largest exporter to China, mainly sells oil. So does the Republic of Congo, the third largest exporter to China.   Then follow the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia, respectively as China’s fourth and fifth exporters. The latter two countries are also large producers of copper.  In addition to copper, the DRC also possesses huge reserves of cobalt and lithium, two minerals that are critical to the all-electric economy of the future, an economy that is rapidly growing in China.

The bottom line is, despite China’s increased imports from the continent currently worth 90.5 billion dollars, Africa is still losing in its business transactions with its new choice partner.  The deficit against Africa stood at 4.9 billion dollars as at the end of the period under review.  However, this aggregate figure hides some discrepancies. 

Out of the 50 African countries with available data, only about twelve generate a surplus from their business transactions with China.  The first country is Angola with a 21.5 billion dollar surplus against Beijing.  The second is South Africa (with 10.3 billion dollar surplus) while the Republic of Congo ranks third (with a 5.6 billion dollar surplus).


Source : Ecofin


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