Lesotho - Foreign trade

Lesotho's chief exports are clothing, shoes, and road vehicles. Manufacturing accounted for 65% of exports in 1996. Other exports include wool and mohair, and food and live animals (7% each). The main imports are food, building materials, vehicles, machinery, medicines, and petroleum products.

Exports grew an average of 18.1% from 1993 through 1996, but declined slightly in 1998. Merchandise imports grew by 16.2% in 1992, but then declined by 6.9% in 1993 and fell 7.4% in 1994. Imports picked up again between 1995 and 1997, but declined in 1998.

In 1996, 66% of exports went to the South African Customs Union, 26% to North America, and 4% to the EU. Increasingly, the US has become a favorite destination for Lesotho's exports. The South African Customs Union provided 90% of Lesotho's imports, Asia 6%, and the EU 2%.

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