Mauritius island is found near Africa’s southeastern coastline, the Republic of Mauritius shipped US$2.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount represents a -10.2% drop since 2013 and a -4.2% year-over-year retreat from 2016 to 2017.
Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, exported goods plus services from Mauritius represent 46% of total Mauritian economic output or Gross Domestic Product. Please note that the overall value of exported goods and services includes a sizable share of re-exports. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.
From a continental perspective, over half (50.4%) of Mauritian exports by value were delivered to European countries while 21.1% were sold to fellow African nations. Mauritius shipped another 12.9% worth of goods to Asia, with 11.7% going to customers in North America.
Given Mauritius’ population of 1.4 million people, its total $2.1 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $1,550 for every resident in that country.
Mauritius’ unemployment rate was 7.1% as of March 2017 compared to 7.6% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.
Mauritius’ Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Mauritian global shipments during 2017 at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Mauritius.
Drilling down to 4-digit HTS codes, the most valuable export goods from Mauritius are clothing and accessories ahead of fish and caviar, sugar, unmounted diamonds and the spice vanilla.
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: US$305.7 million (14.5% of total exports)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $298.5 million (14.2%)
- Meat/seafood preparations: $296.2 million (14.1%)
- Sugar, sugar confectionery: $254.6 million (12.1%)
- Fish: $118.9 million (5.7%)
- Gems, precious metals: $111.4 million (5.3%)
- Coffee, tea, spices: $55.2 million (2.6%)
- Cotton: $44.8 million (2.1%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $44.6 million (2.1%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $36.7 million (1.7%)
Mauritius’ top 10 exports accounted for about three-quarters (74.5%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Meat or seafood preparations was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories via a 12.6% gain from 2016 to 2017.
In second place for improving export sales were spices (mostly vanilla), coffee and tea which rose 11%.
Mauritian shipments of cotton posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 9.2%.
The leading decliner among the top 10 Mauritian export categories was the electrical machinery and equipment category which was down by -64.5% year over year.
The following types of Mauritian product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.
In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: US$277.2 million (Down by -10.9% since 2016)
- Meat/seafood preparations: $253.7 million (Up by 12.5%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $246.7 million (Down by -12.1%)
- Sugar, sugar confectionery: $190.8 million (Down by -2.3%)
- Knit or crochet fabric: $24.3 million (Down by -6.5%)
- Books, newspapers, pictures: $5.5 million (Down by -72.3%)
- Live animals: $4.4 million (Up by 31%)
- Clocks , watches including parts: $1.8 million (Up by 270.5%)
- Woodpulp: $1.5 million (Up by 30.5%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $13,000 (Reversing a -$383,000 deficit)
Mauritius has highly positive net exports in the international trade of knitted and crocheted clothing and accessories. In turn, these cash-flows indicate Mauritius’s strong competitive advantages under the knit or crochet clothing and accessories product category.
Overall, Mauritius incurred a -$3.2 billion trade deficit for 2017 up from -$2.5 billion in red ink during 2016.
Below are exports from Mauritius that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Mauritius’s goods trail Mauritian importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$857.1 million (Up by 41.8% since 2016)
- Machinery including computers: -$407.3 million (Up by 18.6%)
- Vehicles: -$353.3 million (Up by 18.1%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$332.5 million (Up by 12.1%)
- Fish: -$226.5 million (Up by 39.4%)
- Cotton: -$126.4 million (Up by 22.4%)
- Cereals: -$113.5 million (Up by 22.9%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$108.4 million (Up by 8.8%)
- Dairy, eggs, honey: -$104.4 million (Up by 4.1%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$86.8 million (Down by -1.5%)
Mauritius has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the mineral fuels-related products category. The leading deficit producer arises from processed petroleum oils.