Mauritânia flag Mauritânia: Contexto político-econômico

Valores de comércio da Mauritânia

Foreign Trade in Figures

Mauritania is very open to international trade, which represents around 104% of its GDP (World Bank – latest data available). The government has taken steps to liberalize the economy, reduce trade barriers, and promote foreign investment. Mauritania has signed several trade agreements aimed at promoting trade and investment. These include the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which aims to create a single market for goods and services across the continent, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which aims to promote economic integration among West African countries. The country has also signed bilateral trade agreements with several countries, including China and the United States. Mauritania's export composition comprises 35% iron ore (wholly produced by the state-owned mining company SNIM), 31% gold, 28% fishery products, and 3.5% copper. Based on Mauritanian statistics, the primary import category remains petroleum products, accounting for 39% of total imports (including fuel and diesel). This is followed by food products at 23% (such as oils, fats, sugar, and wheat), construction materials at 13% (including processed iron-based products), and equipment goods at 8% (data France Ministry of Finance for 2022).

In 2022, China remained the primary destination for Mauritanian exports, with imports totaling EUR 806 million. However, China's share of Mauritanian exports decreased from 41% in 2021 to 23%. Following were Canada, accounting for 18% (EUR 637 million), and Spain, at 11% (EUR 388 million). Canada is the largest importer of Mauritanian gold, with increased international prices and gold production explaining its significant position. Meanwhile, China imports nearly all of Mauritania's copper production, half of its iron production, and fishery products. The United Arab Emirates was Mauritania's top supplier, providing 18% of total imports, mainly consisting of manufactured goods. Spain ranked as the country's second-largest supplier, contributing 16% of imports, followed by Japan at 7% and France at 6%. Mauritania primarily imports petroleum products (comprising over half of total imports), food items, and equipment goods from Europe (data France Ministry of Finance for 2022).

According to WTO, in 2022, Mauritania's exports reached USD 3.2 billion (down by 2% year-on-year), whereas imports stood at USD 4.6 billion, marking a 19.6% increase vis-à-vis one year earlier. As per services, Mauritania’s exports are historically really low (at USD 219 million in 2022), whereas imports increased notably to USD 1.3 billion. According to the World Bank’s estimates, the total external trade balance for goods and services was negative by 5.7% of GDP in 2022 (from 8.6% one year earlier).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 3,5202,7443,8605,1205,242
Exports of Goods (million USD) 2,2662,8293,2673,7784,017
Imports of Services (million USD) 7937967939430
Exports of Services (million USD) 2051932673070

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 89.196.294.7100.4124.2
Trade Balance (million USD) -706-570-288-606-1,002
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -1,222-1,158-891-1,132-1,637
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 37.211.92.125.110.1
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1.816.7-8.6-11.76.2
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 52.654.654.060.977.7
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 36.641.640.739.546.5

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 10.25.82.70.51.1
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 3.34.45.13.84.7

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Since the 1990s, Mauritania has been implementing economic reforms trying to liberalize its economy, increase the competivity of its exports and reinforce its legislative framework. The prices were liberalized, barriers to trading were lifted, fiscal policy and custom duty procedures were reformed.

Mauritania is a member of the WTO (original member). It grants most-favored-nation treatment to the group of its commercial partners and has consolidated 41% of its tariff lines, that is to say the rates applied cannot be increased unless Mauritania compensates the affected partners. On the regional level, Mauritania is a part of the AMU (Arab Maghreb Union), the aim of which, to achieve free movement of persons, services, merchandise and capital, is for the moment only a project. Mauritania has also concluded bilateral trade agreements with Algeria, Egypt, Gambia, Mali, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia, but the level of preference tariffs is yet to be established. Notably towards the European Union and the United States Mauritania benefits from preferential regime as part of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
China 23.3%
Canada 18.4%
Spain 11.2%
Switzerland 5.8%
United Arab Emirates 5.5%
See More Countries 35.7%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
United Arab Emirates 18.3%
Spain 16.1%
Japan 6.8%
France 6.7%
Belgium 4.9%
See More Countries 47.2%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

3.8 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Iron ores and concentrates, incl. roasted iron...Iron ores and concentrates, incl. roasted iron pyrites 35.4%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 30.9%
Molluscs, fit for human consumption, even smoked,...Molluscs, fit for human consumption, even smoked, whether in shell or not, live, fresh, chilled, frozen, dried, salted or in brine; flours, meals and pellets of molluscs, fit for human consumption 13.8%
Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish...Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 8.6%
Copper ores and concentratesCopper ores and concentrates 3.5%
See More Products 7.7%
5.1 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...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 37.4%
Wheat and meslinWheat and meslin 6.3%
Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in...Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form 5.8%
Tubes, pipes and hollow profiles, seamless, of...Tubes, pipes and hollow profiles, seamless, of iron or steel (excl. products of cast iron) 2.9%
Soya-bean oil and its fractions, whether or not...Soya-bean oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 2.6%
See More Products 45.0%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import-Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2024. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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