flag South Sudan South Sudan: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Foreign trade accounted for 66% of the country’s GDP in 2015 (World Bank, last available data). Policies established by South Sudanese government since its independence in 2011 aim to integrate the country into the international trade network. South Sudan has gradually moved closer to the East African Community (EAC), which includes Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, and has officially become its latest member to August 15, 2016. South Sudan has only one road connecting the capital Juba to Nimule on the border with Uganda. Road restoration should pave the way for trade with Central and East Africa. In 2020, South Sudan mainly imported vehicles (16.27% of total exports), electrical appliances (7.36%), machinery (6.37%), beverages (5.14%), flour (4.97%), food preparations (4.33%), sugar (3.84%), plastics (3.37%) and cereals (3.55%). The country mainly exported oil (82.6% of total exports) and gold (13.02%) (ITC, 2020).

South Sudan’s main suppliers are China, The Netherlands, Thailand, Pakistan and Germany. Its main clients are China, Pakistan and Germany (ITC, 2017). The peace agreement signed in September 2018 to end the civil war led South Sudan and Sudan to open four border crossings, which will increase commercial traffic.

According to the World Bank, South Sudan's balance of trade posted a surplus of USD 888 million in 2019 (after a deficit of USD 1.135 billion in 2014). In 2018, exports of services reached USD 217 million (+ 11%), while imports amounted to USD 596 million (+ 7%) (WTO). In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global trade volumes decreased sharply. South Sudan's exports were hit by the collapse in oil prices. In 2021, South Sudan imported goods for USD 39.767 million while it exported for USD 3.961 billion, resulting in a trade deficit  of USD 35.806 billion (ITC, 2021). South Sudan proceeded to rebuild the facilities for the production and export of hydrocarbons, and stability was restored, which supported oil exports.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20172018201920202021
Trade Balance (million USD) 8228931,4692732,358

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

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Commercial Policy

International Economic Cooperation
South Sudan seeks to integrate itself in the International Trade Network.
Assessment of Commercial Policy
Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)

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Latest Update: February 2023