Export industry in Ghana - A Summary of Ghana’s Trade

Ghana is a country located in the subcontinent of West Africa. Formally known as The Republic of Ghana, this country is known for being a peaceful home to its population of almost 30 million. However, this peace was not always present. In fact, Ghana can be said to serve as the best rags to riches story in the region. Ghana experienced a terrible economic depression lasting several decades. This, in fact, occurred after its independence in 1946, although the two are not fully linked. As a result, Ghana was forced to look towards itself in order to improve its economy.

Fortunately, Ghana still managed to emerge as one of the leading countries in terms of development. Currently, Ghana enjoys a stable economy and a peaceful political landscape. With a GDP per capita amount of $4490 and a relatively low unemployment rate of 5.7%, Ghana is thriving. As such, the government of Ghana is always on the lookout for new foreign investment.

So how did Ghana manage to improve its economy? Experts point towards Ghana cleaning up its export industry. In fact, Ghana has an estimated export value of $$17.1 billion as of 2017. This meant that with its import value of $13.2 billion, Ghana’s trade balance was a positive, at $3.9 billion.

But what is Ghana’s main export? A naturally rich country, Ghana has Africa’s largest gold reserves. In addition to this, Ghana also has a large reserve of precious minerals. Thus, the luxury metal and stone industry soon became Ghana’s biggest source of revenue, bringing in almost 36% of their total revenue. By the way, you may want to know about small business ideas in Ghana.

In fact, it can be stated that much of Ghana’s exports come directly as a result of the mining industry. But gold is not all Ghana has to offer, Ghana also exports a large amount of crude petroleum. Below is a small introspection into Ghana’s top exports.

Main export products in Ghana

Main export products in Ghana

Gold and precious stones

Valued at $6.1 billion US Dollars, these luxury goods are used worldwide to make intricate jewelry. As gold prices are always rising, Ghana has made a mint with this export. In addition to gold, precious stones such as diamonds are also naturally occurring in Ghana, thus generating more revenue.

Mineral fuels and other oils

Valued at $5.2 billion US Dollars, mineral fuels make up 30.6% of Ghana’s export revenue. Commonly known as fossil fuels, these naturally occurring sources of energy are used for many daily activities. From transport to heating appliances.

Cocoa Beans

Did you know most of the world’s chocolate can be traced back to Ghana? Cocoa is in fact, Ghana’s biggest agricultural export. Moreover, Ghana is also one of the top cocoa producers in the world- second only to Côte d'Ivoire. Valued at $3.2 billion US Dollars, the cocoa export industry makes up 19% of Ghana’s export revenue. In addition to this, the cocoa harvested from Ghana does not always end up in chocolate, many cosmetic brands also have ties to the cocoa industry in Ghana.

Fruits & Nuts

Valued at $595.3 million US Dollars, the export of fruits and nuts from Ghana contribute to 3.5% of the country’s export revenue. Popular tropical fruits such as Pineapples, bananas and papaya as well as citrus fruits from the bulk of these exports. In terms of nits, Ghana exports cashews and brazil nuts.

Ores, slag, ash

Valued at $346.5 million US Dollars, making up 2% of the export revenue, these residue materials are what remains after the extraction of several minerals. In turn, these are used as mixing materials to form many useful materials for building and road construction.

Plastics and plastic products

With a value of $204.5 million US Dollars to its name, the plastic industry of Ghana contributes to 1.2% of its export revenue.


Ghana also has wood classified as a soft import, with an estimated value of $181.4 million US Dollars, making it contribute to 1.1% of the export industry. Ghana exports wood as a raw material to be used in other countries to form products such as furniture and building materials.

Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes

With a value of $178.2 million, providing 1% of the country’s export revenue, these products are commonly used for cooking and food preparation.


While not a massive export of Ghana, the meat and seafood exports are still valued at $155.8 million US Dollars. Which in turn contributes to 0.9% of the export revenue.


Another product from the mining industry, the export of aluminum is estimated to have a value of $111.2 million US Dollars, which makes it contribute to 0.7% of the export revenue. Aluminum is a sturdy metal and is used in a multitude of industries for the production of various goods. Such goods include, but are not excluded to cans, tin foil and even car parts.

Ghana’s export rate with foreign nations:

But who does Ghana mainly export to? The country’s notable export partners are the following, over the years these countries have formed a symbiotic partnership due to mutual interests:

  • India (provides 23.8% of export revenue)
  • United Arab Emirates (provides 13.4% of export revenue)
  • China (provides 10.8% of export revenue)
  • Switzerland (provides 10.1% of export revenue)
  • Vietnam (provides 5.2% of export revenue)
  • Burkina Faso (provides 4% of export revenue)

Valuable import industries in Gnana

In contrast, to its export industry, the most valued import items of Ghana are the following. Most of these are ready to consume goods:

  • Cars ($793M)
  • Delivery Trucks ($442M)
  • Refined Petroleum ($415M)
  • Rice ($369M)
  • Non-fillet Frozen Fish ($278M)


What is Ghana's main imports and exports?

The main export import product in Ghana are: Gold and precious stones, Mineral fuels and other oils, Fruits, Nuts, Ores, slag, ash, Plastics and plastic products, Wood, Aluminum, Meat/seafood, Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes and etc.

What products do Ghana produce?

Ghana produce various types of crops. But some of these are mostly contributes in Ghana's economy. Agriculture base products are: Agricultural crops, including yams, kola nuts, cocoa, grains, oil palms, and timber.

What are the major industries in Ghana?

There are some major industries include mining, light manufacturing, food processing, aluminum smelting, cement and small commercial ship building.


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