Madagascar consistently runs a trade deficit. Exports consist mainly of unprocessed agricultural products and some extracted minerals. Textiles are Madagascar's major export commodity (29%), followed by spices (14%), coffee (7.1%), and gemstones (6.5%). Other exports include preserved fruit (4.4%) and shellfish (4.1%).
Refined petroleum products were formerly imported in large quantities, but development of domestic refinery capacity altered this pattern. Madagascar now exports a small amount of petroleum products to East Africa and to other Indian Ocean islands. Crude petroleum still must be imported. In 1999 Madagascar's imports were distributed among the following categories:
Principal trading partners in 1999 (in millions of US dollars) were as follows:
|China (inc. Hong Kong)||6||35||-29|