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General and Agricultural Trade Situation

Ghana operates in a relatively free market environment and aims to make Ghana the gateway to the larger West African market. Ghana is a significant exporter and importer, with total exports of all products estimated at $4.03 billion and imports estimated at $9.08 billion in 2008.

Ghana’s agricultural product imports in 2008 are estimated to have remained at $1 billion according to unpublished customs data. Ghana is an important U.S. agricultural export market of bulk, consumer oriented commodities and forest products. Ghana is a major purchaser of U.S. rice (the largest in West Africa), poultry, and high-value food products (processed fruits and vegetables, dairy products, vegetable oils, wines and beer, sugars and sweeteners) and other value added wood products. Major export competitors for the Ghanaian market are the EU, South Africa and Asia. Ghana continues to maintain strong trade relations with the EU especially the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Trading with Asia, especially China has increased dramatically in the past few years.

In 2008, Ghana’s agricultural exports were approximately $1.5 billion, primarily wood and timber products and cocoa (which accounts for two-thirds of total agricultural exports). Major export destinations were the EU and the United States. So far in 2009, Ghana has actually been a net exporter of agricultural, fish and forestry products to the United States. Ghanaian exports of these products to the U.S. reached $77.7 million in 2008, and exports in 2009 are up 13 percent so far this year, primarily due to larger cocoa bean shipments.

The U.S. exports of agricultural, fish and forestry products to Ghana in 2008 were $86 million as opposed to $77.7 million in 2007.

US Agricultural Exports to Ghana

Total U.S. agricultural, fish and forestry products exports to Ghana in 2008 were a record $86.5 million, up from $78 million in 2007. Poultry and rice make up the largest portion of these exports.

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