Ethiopian Exports Rise 9.7% on Coffee, Khat Sales

February 24th, 2010 | by addis portal |

By Jason McLure

Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) — Ethiopia’s exports rose an annual 9.7 percent last month on sales of coffee, pulses and the narcotic leaf khat, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said.

Exports increased to $144.5 million in the 30 days to Feb. 7, the ministry said in an e-mailed report today. The ministry didn’t provide data on imports.

Ethiopia devalued its currency, the birr, 4.8 percent against the dollar on Jan. 29, a move that makes the Horn of Africa country’s exports more competitive. In September, the International Monetary Fund forecast that Ethiopia’s trade gap would widen to $7 billion in the fiscal year to July 7 from $6.1 billion a year earlier, even as exports climbed 11 percent.

Coffee shipments rose 12.5 percent to 8,342 metric tons last month, while revenue increased 53 percent to $29.5 million, the report said. Shipments of khat, a narcotic leaf popularly chewed in East Africa and the Arabian peninsula, gained 25 percent to $16.9 million.

Sales of flowers climbed 24.6 percent to $16.9 million from $13.5 million.

–Editors: Philip Sanders, Athol Bolleurs
To contact the reporter on this story: Jason McLure in Addis Ababa via Johannesburg on +27-11-286-1999 or pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at +27-11-286-1934, or asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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