Ghana bagged US$2.89 billion from Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) in 2019 according to figures from the Ghana Exports Promotions Authority (GEPA).
The 2019 non-traditional exports earnings was 3.10 percent higher than that of 2018 which was estimated at $2.83 billion.
According to GEPA, non-traditional exports accounted for 8.53 percent of total exports last year.
Over the last five years (2015 to 2019), Ghana’s NTEs grew at an annual average rate of 2.97 percent and contributed 18 percent to total national merchandise exports of Ghana in 2019.
The appreciation in non-traditional exports is associated with higher performance in the processed and semi-processed products sector, particularly, cocoa cake, palm oil, iron and steel products.
Manufacturing was the highest contributing sector, accounting for about 84.6 percent of the total non-traditional exports.
The performance of this sub-sector reflects a growth of 11.15 percent in 2019 over 2018 earnings.
In aggregate terms, the processed cocoa sector experienced a growth of 5.99 percent in 2019 relative to 2018.
The marginal growth in the cocoa sector was due to high demand coupled with high futures market price for cocoa butter and cake.
These were supported by the availability of more local cocoa beans to manufacturers, in addition to COCOBOD’s policy that allowed the manufacturers to import cocoa beans to complement their local stock.
The Agricultural sector however dipped in performance, recording 14.84 percent of the total exports.
It recorded a 27.21 percent reduction in its performance from 2018, affecting its total contribution to NTE’s growth in 2019.
Cashew nut was the top earner of all agricultural produce in 2019. However, its performance reduced by 37.1 percent over 2018 performance and contributed 55.29 percent to the total sub-sector earnings.
Flowers was the lowest earner in the first 1o category, contributing about 0.80 percent to total sub-sector earnings and posed a growth of 40.64 percent over its 2018 earnings
Industrial Art & Craft also accounted for 0.50 percent of total non-traditional exports, compared with 12.82 percent the previous year.
In terms of destination, according to myjoyonline.com non-traditional export products were exported to 155 countries.
The Netherlands was the leading country with imports of $381 million of non-traditional exports from Ghana.
It was followed by neighbouring Burkina Faso and Togo in second and third respectively.
France, India, United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Vietnam and Senegal completed the top 10 destinations of non-traditional exports from Ghana.
The EU market was the leading destination, contributing to 38.18 percent of the total market by absorbing
$1.11 billion value of NTEs. This market value, however, reduced by 3.43 percent relative to 2018’s performance.
Export of Non-Traditional goods into ECOWAS was US$836.5 million dollars, an increase of 12.79 percent from the previous year.
GEPA made significant strides in services export in Education, Medical Services, Information Technology and IT-enabled services in 2019.
For instance, during the year under review, GEPA sponsored and coordinated the participation of 11 higher institutions of learning in a Students’ Recruitment drive in three cities in Nigeria.
On Medical Services export, GEPA opened talks with Barbados which resulted in about 95 nurses being exported to the Caribbean country to work for two years. The contingent of nurses comprised 49 women and 46 men.