TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Sector data: Metals and articles

The ‘base metals and articles of base metals’ sector comprises goods and materials such as iron and steel, copper, nickel, aluminium, lead, zinc, tin, other miscellaneous metals, as well as articles of such base metals. Africa is endowed with an abundance of many of these, most of which are still exported in their raw form, while others are further beneficiated locally prior to domestic use or export.

Under the United States HTS classification system, this category of products comprises Chapters 72 to 83, and the data alongside accordingly includes these categories.

Overall, exports under this category of products from AGOA beneficiaries to the US rose steadily between 2000 and 2008, before dropping sharply in 2009 not least as a consequence of the global financial (and economic) crisis. The period to 2011 saw a rapid expansion of exports, followed by a period of decline, and lately, some stability. 2016 exports were near to those in 2000 at AGOA's inception. The chart above tracks AGOA-beneficiaries' exports to the US in this category (clicking on categories in the chart's legend blends these in and out respectively). 

Many products classified within these chapters are AGOA eligible. Overall, during 2016 approximately 60% of such products exported by AGOA beneficiary countries entered the USA under preference; the remaining 40% did not claim (or qualify) for any preferences albeit that many of these are already duty-free.

Ferroalloys comprise the largest product category exported under preference (AGOA/GSP), followed by aluminum plates and sheets. Other significant product categories exported under preference include copper bars and manganese. Beneficiated articles account for much lower shares of exports from AGOA beneficiary countries, but include aluminum wire, parts for hand-tools, articles made of iron, steel, aluminum, knives and cutting blades, armored safes, kitchen articles and so forth (see data in third table on right). 

Amongst AGOA beneficiaries, South Africa accounts for the largest share of exports in this category, albeit smaller contributions are recorded by countries such as Mozambique, Gabon, Mauritiania, Zambia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria and others.  


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