Niger runs a continuous deficit in merchandise trade, with exports in 1997 at US$300 million and imports at US$441 million. This deficit is met by international aid, mostly from France.
Niger's exports in 1995 were mainly uranium (49 percent), livestock and meat products (17 percent), and cowpeas (7 percent). Most of Niger's exports, mainly the uranium, went to France (74 percent), Côte d'Ivoire (8 percent), and Nigeria (3 percent).
Imports in 1995 were dominated by consumer manufactures (62 percent), machinery and vehicles (20 percent), cereals (10 percent), and fuels (8 percent). France provided most of Niger's imports with 19 percent of the total, and other sources of imports were Cote d'Ivoire (12 percent), Germany (2 percent), and Japan (2 percent).
In 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc enhanced the profitability of exports and discouraged imports. Consequently
|Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Niger|
|SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.|
|Exchange rates: Niger|
|Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (CFA Fr) per US$1|
|Note: From January 1, 1999, the CFA Fr is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA Fr per euro.|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].|
the trade deficit fell to half its 1980 level, and in 1997 it stood at US$141 million. Trade with Nigeria, which is Niger's biggest regional trading partner, has improved greatly since the 1994 devaluation. However, much of this trade, as in the case of other neighbors, is smuggled across unsecured land borders and goes unrecorded.