Last year, exports in Afghanistan grew by 28.13%, over the previous year. Foreign sales represent 3.71% of its GDP, a very low proportion that places it 179th out of 189 countries in the ranking of exports with respect to GDP.
With a figure of 690.5 million dollars Afghanistan ranks 154th in the ranking of countries according to the amount of its exports.
This year there was a deficit in its commercial balance since, in addition to an increase in imports, they were greater than exports.
The coverage rate (percentage of what is imported that can be paid with what is exported) was 10.13%.
If we look at the evolution of exports in Afghanistan in recent years, we can see that they have increased compared to 2016 and 2017, as we have already seen, as in 2007, when they were 331.3 million dollars. It represented 5.31% of its GDP.
Fresh fruit, dried fruits, carpets, medical medicinal plants and animal by-products such as wool and skins are mainly exported. The main customer countries are Pakistan and India, followed by Iran, Turkey, Iraq and the UAE. Since exports are mainly based on the agricultural sector, export also depends largely on the performance of this sector.
In 2017, Germany exported goods worth almost € 84 million to Afghanistan, mainly motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts, data processing equipment, electrical and optical products, machinery and chemical products. Imported goods such as food, feed, textiles, leather and leather goods and agricultural products with a total value of about 9.5 million euros. Exports increased by 67% compared to the previous year, while imports fell by 21%.
National experts value variety and quality of the Afghani fruit. Well-known growing areas are the oasis of Herat (grapes, apricots, peaches) and the Schomali plain north of Kabul (grapes). Famous are the pomegranates, apricots and grapes from the oasis of Kandahar, as well as the apples, apricots and grapes from the Panshir Valley.
However, recycling for export has so far often failed because of inadequate processing of the fruits, so that Afghan fruit is rarely offered outside the country’s borders.
In addition to the variety of fruits but also play dried fruit (especially raisins), almonds, pistachios and walnuts in Afghan agriculture an essential role. The cultivation of melons, onions, potatoes and tomatoes should also be mentioned.
The province of Herat is also the main growing area for the Afghan saffron production. For a few years now, this species of crocus has also been cultivated in the provinces of Ghazni, Farah and Helmand. The Afghan Ministry of Agriculture is also planning to establish cultivation nationwide by distributing saffron tubers to farmers in all 34 provinces.
Saffron is used both as a spice and as a coloring or as a component of perfumes; He is also said to have healing properties in medicine. However, the cultivation is very labor intensive, the harvest is purely manual and the harvested saffron must be treated very carefully so that it is not damaged. However, compared to other agricultural crops, the cultivation of saffron is less irrigation intensive, allowing more sustainable management of existing water resources.