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Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Mozambique is open to foreign trade, which represents nearly 112% of the country's GDP (World Bank, 2016). The current government's trade policy aims to implement structural reforms to customs duties, customs and VAT procedures to encourage exports.

At the moment, customs duties remain high; however, there are non-tariff barriers in the country. Additionally, the Government seeks to reform its trade regulations to improve its business climate. Mozambique could become one of the largest exporters of natural gas in the world by 2020 (the country hosts the third largest reserve in Africa) thanks to the discovery of new reserves. Lastly, the planned construction of natural gas plants as well as a new dam should allow the country to increase its electricity exports to neighbouring countries. Export infrastructure (railroads, deep water ports, liquefied natural gas plants) is also under construction. The country is expected to export natural gas and coal to Asia by 2020.

Mozambique's trade balance is negative and should remain so until coal and gas exports to Asia begin. According to the Bank of Mozambique, the trade deficit decline from USD 1.38 billion to USD 497.8 million in 2017, as the growth rate of exports outpaced that of imports. Exports (of goods) rose to USD 4.73 billion while imports reached USD 5.22 billion.

The negative current account balance is due to the country's need to import goods and services to develop its infrastructure (gas, transport). The country primarily exports natural resources (aluminium, hydrocarbons, coking coal, coal, titanium, gemstones), tobacco and sugar. In 2017, its main customers were India, South Africa, the Netherlands, Italy and China. Mozambique imports hydrocarbons, metal products, vehicles, machinery and equipment, chemical products, foodstuffs (rice, wheat) and medications. In 2017, its main suppliers were South Africa, the United Arab Emirates Singapore, China, the Netherlands India and France.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20122013201420152016
Imports of Goods (million USD) 8,68810,0998,7478,2935,295
Exports of Goods (million USD) 3,8564,0244,7254,1953,355
Imports of Services (million USD) 4,4483,8573,6243,2853,203
Exports of Services (million USD) 792645725675422
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 622915-78
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 13216-11
Trade Balance (million USD) -4,048-4,357-4,035-4,163-1,405
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 111114118104112
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 7884857277
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 3230333235

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
Netherlands 29.8%
South Africa 18.3%
India 10.6%
Singapore 4.6%
Italy 3.1%
Belgium 2.8%
China 2.7%
United Kingdom 2.5%
Zimbabwe 2.5%
Namibia 2.2%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
South Africa 30.1%
China 12.5%
Netherlands 7.3%
Portugal 5.8%
Bahrain 5.2%
United Arab Emirates 4.3%
India 4.0%
France 3.4%
Japan 3.1%
United States 2.5%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data


Main Products

3.2 bn USD of products exported in 2015
Bars, rods and profiles, of aluminium, n.e.s. 28.5%
Coke and semi-coke of coal, of lignite or of peat, whether or not agglomerated; retort carbon 12.1%
Electrical energy 9.9%
Unmanufactured tobacco; tobacco refuse 9.2%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 7.2%
Unwrought aluminium 4.5%
Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form 3.7%
Titanium ores and concentrates 3.4%
Precious stones and semi-precious stones, whether or not worked or graded, but not strung, mounted or set, ungraded precious stones and semi-precious stones, temporarily strung for convenience of transport (excl. diamonds and imitation precious stones and semi-precious stones) 3.1%
Niobium, tantalum, vanadium or zirconium ores and concentrates 1.1%
7.9 bn USD of products imported in 2015
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 9.0%
Fishing vessels; factory ships and other vessels for processing or preserving fishery products (excl. fishing boats for sport) 6.7%
Unwrought aluminium 5.9%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 4.1%
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) 3.5%
Electrical energy 3.1%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 2.0%
Rice 1.9%
Structures and parts of structures e.g., bridges and bridge-sections, lock-gates, towers, lattice masts, roofs, roofing frameworks, doors and windows and their frames and thresholds for doors, shutters, balustrades, pillars and columns, of iron or steel; plates, rods, angles, shapes, sections, tubes and the like, prepared for use in structures, of iron or steel (excl. prefabricated buildings of heading 9406) 1.8%
Wheat and meslin 1.8%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data


Main Services

0.7 bn USD of services exported in 2015
Insurance services
Other business services
Communications services
Financial services
3.0 bn USD of services imported in 2015
Other business services
Construction services
Insurance services
Government services
Computer and information services
Royalties and license fees
Financial services
Cultural and recreational services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data


Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Main International Economic Cooperation
Member of Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Member of African Union

Useful Resources
Mozambique Customs
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
The Industrial Property Institute (IPI).


Learn more about How to Export to Mozambique on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: June 2018