Overview of the Chemical Industry in Ethiopia and How to Buy Chemicals?

Flag of Ethiopia.

Brief Introduction of Ethiopia

  • Capital of Ethiopia is Addis Ababa
  • It has a population of 112,078,730 million
  • The total area is 1,100,000 km2
  • The official language of Ethiopia is Amharic
  • The currency is Ethiopian Birr (ETB)

Given the economic growth of Ethiopia, it is an attractive country for chemical trade. Ethiopia’s chemical industry is diverse and demands chemicals for food and beverages, and textiles. For example, Chemicals are used for brewing, for artificial flavour and coloring, for packing, for dyeing, cleaning, and processing the textiles.

Economic Statistics of Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the 6th largest economy in Africa and 68th in the world. It has a GDP of $95.913 billion.

Economy Breakdown

  • Agriculture 33.88%
  • Industry 24.77%
  • Services 36.87%

Main Industries of Ethiopia

The largest industries of Ethiopia are:

  • Food Processing
  • Beverages
  • Textiles
  • Chemicals
  • Metals Processing
  • Cement

Ethiopia’s Main Import Partners

  • China 26.5%
  • India 9.25%
  • United Arab Emirates 8.81%
  • France 8.8%
  • United Kingdom 6.95%

Ethiopia’s Main Export Partners

  • China6%
  • United States 15.6%
  • United Arab Emirates 8.06%
  • Saudi Arabia 6.33%
  • South Korea 5.13%

Chemical Use in Ethiopia


Given the economic growth of Ethiopia, it is an attractive country for chemical trade. Ethiopia’s chemical industry is diverse and includes chemicals for:

  • Food and Beverages
  • Textiles

Flourishing Beverage industry of Ethiopia.

Food and Beverage

Ethiopia’s food and beverage industry is huge. In the food and beverage industries, chemicals are extensively used. They are used in the brewing processes to produce beverages. They are used as preservatives of food and beverages. Chemicals are also used to add artificial flavour and colouring to foods and beverages. Moreover, chemicals are used for the packaging of foods and beverages.


The textile industry is one of the largest in Ethiopia. The use of chemicals in textiles is quite common and also necessary. Various chemicals are used in the different processes of textile production. Chemicals are used for dyeing, cleaning, and processing the textiles. Furthermore, chemicals such as textile softeners, wetting agents, wax removing agents, textile sizing chemicals etc. are used in the textile industry.

Seaports and Trading Hubs of the Country


Ethiopia is a landlocked country. Therefore it has no seaports. For international trading, Ethiopia uses Djibouti’s seaport called the Port of Djibouti. From this seaport the goods are transported to Ethiopia through railways or roadways.

Ethiopian cargo ship at the Port of Djibouti.

For importing the goods, Camachem uses the largest port, the Port of Djibouti.

What Chemicals does Ethiopia Import?


According to the latest trade data, Ethiopia imported around $52.57 million in inorganic chemicals and $104.73 million in organic chemicals. The imports include chemicals such as:

Soda Ash is one of the key chemicals that we export to Ethiopia.

Dicalcium Phosphate is one of the key chemicals that we export to Ethiopia.

Polyaluminium Chloride is one of the key chemicals that we export to Ethiopia.

What Regulations are there on Importing Chemicals to the Country?


For importing chemicals to Ethiopia the following documents are required:

  • Agency agreement
  • A bank permit
  • A bill of landing or airway bill
  • Certificate of origin
  • Commercial invoices
  • Customs import declaration
  • Foreign exchange authorisation
  • Import license
  • Insurance certificate
  • Packing list
  • Tax identification number (TIN) certificate
  • Pre-shipment inspection clean report of findings
  • Transit document
  • Value added tax (VAT) Certificate.

Why should Ethiopia Import Chemicals?


Availability – The local chemical industry does not have the capacity to fulfil the country’s needs and some customers require chemicals in an efficient manner. Chemicals are necessary for the proper functioning of various industries. Due to the immense increase in the demand of chemicals, it is necessary for Ethiopia to import them in order to meet the needs of the country.

High Chemical Cost – Due to the fierce domestic competition and high costs of production, chemicals are more expensive to buy locally than they are in the international market. Depending upon the state of the local economy, the cost of production and therefore the cost of the product itself is quite high. In order to cater to the country’s needs, Ethiopia spent about $1.04 billion on the import of chemicals in 2019.

Chemical Quality – While a majority of international chemical suppliers have good brand reputations and quality, some smaller domestic manufacturers can have variant chemical quality. Local chemical suppliers are often ill-reputed and are generally not trusted much due to the poor quality of their products. Therefore, in order to get high quality products that meet clients’ high standards, internationally reputable suppliers are the best option.

Where can I Buy Chemicals for Ethiopia?


Camachem has been exporting chemicals to clients in Ethiopia. If you are looking to import chemicals in bulk and achieve cost-savings, then look no further because Camachem provides superior quality products at reasonable costs. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] or WhatsApp us at +86-131-2037-9271 for a FREE quote.

We also ship worldwide; for other countries, check out our experience here.


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