Zambia Trade, Exports and Imports


 According to the 2009 statistics, the total volume of Zambia’s exports stood at $4.388 billion, while import came in at $4.131 billion. During the socialist regime, the country experienced deep poverty and though successive governments devised limited reform measures, Zambia stagnated till the late 1990s. The year 2007 recorded the 9th consecutive year of the country’s economic growth. These growth years also witnessed progress in Zambia’s trade. In 2003, nonmetal export increased by 25% and accounted for 38% of the export earnings, from the previous 35%. Copper and nickel are Zambia’s top metallic export goods and the government has been granting licenses to sources abroad for more exploration of these and other metals, including tin and uranium. 

Zambia Trade: Export and Import

Zambia's economic growth extended till the 6%-7% mark in 2007. Prior to that, in 1975, there was a slump in copper prices, leading to massive decrease in export earnings, since the value of the metal almost halved at a global level. The 6%-7% mark was necessary to counter the rampant poverty of the country. Since 2004, copper output has increased steadily due to the newly found mineral reserve sites and higher copper prices.


Maize harvest also gained in 2005, thus boosting the GDP and agricultural exports. In 2000, the agriculture sector contributed 20% of the country’s GDP growth. Maize was the principal cash crop and staple food. Floriculture too is a growth sector and such non-traditional export items presently rival the traditional mining industry.


Several reforms implemented by the government in the beginning and mid-1990s exhibited positive macroeconomic signs. The country’s floating exchange rate and the open capital markets diversified the export sector, promoted growth in tourism and procured inputs for growing businesses.


Specific information about Zambia’s export and import:



The country ranks 106 in terms of the total export volumes. The 2008 reports state that goods exported to countries were as follows:

  • China - 13.8%

  • South Africa - 8.2%

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo - 7.8%

  • Saudi Arabia - 7.6%

  • South Korea - 7.6%

  • Egypt - 7.4%

  • Italy - 6.7%

  • India - 4.6%



Zambia ranks 117 in terms of total import volumes. According to the 2008 data, Uganda’s import partners are:

  • South Africa - 52.5%

  • UAE - 8.2%

  • China - 6.9%