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

Flag of Zambia.

Brief Introduction of Zambia

  • The capital of Zambia is Lusaka
  • It has a population of 17,861,030 million
  • The total area is 752,618 km2
  • The official language of Zambia is English
  • The currency is Zambian Kwacha (ZMK)

 Economic Statistics of Zambia

Zambia is the 18th largest economy in Africa and 115th in the world. It has a GDP of $23.31 billion.

Economy Breakdown

  • Agriculture 2.74%
  • Industry 42.12%
  • Services 50.03%

Main Industries of Zambia

The largest industries of Zambia are:

  • Copper mining and processing
  • Construction
  • Foodstuffs
  • Beverages
  • Chemicals
  • Textiles
  • Fertilizers
  • Horticulture

Zambia’s Main Import Partners

  • South Africa 16.4%
  • China 13.9%
  • United Arab Emirates 11.6%
  • India 4.57%
  • Namibia 3.14%

Zambia’s Main Export Partners

  • Switzerland 28.7%
  • China 15.9%
  • Namibia 12%
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo 8.95%
  • Singapore 5.28%

Chemical Use in Zambia


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

  • Mining
  • Food Production
  • Hygiene and Health Care Products

The chemicals sector contributes to about 7% of GDP and 11% of manufacturing GDP in Zambia.Zambia uses large amounts of mining chemicals and industrial chemicals some of which are manufactured locally, but most are imported. 

Copper smelting in Zambia.


The major economic sectors of Zambia include mining and quarrying. It is the largest industry of Zambia. Chemicals are extensively used in the mining and refining processes of various precious metal ores. Chemicals are used for the effective extraction, processing, and refining of minerals. The major minerals being mined are copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, and coal.

Food Production

Chemicals are essential to the current methods of food production. They are used as fertilisers and pesticides for the production and growth of food crops. Chemicals are used as additives in foodstuffs. They are also used for the preservation and packaging of food. Hence, chemicals are extremely important for food production.

Hygiene and Health Care Products

Chemicals are used as a major component in the manufacture of hygiene and health care products. Such products are the most essential and widely used products. These include pharmaceuticals, which are essential for maintaining health and treating health issues, and cleaning materials such as soaps, detergents etc.

Seaports and Trading Hubs of the Country


Zambia is a landlocked country. Therefore, it has no seaports. For international trading, Zambia uses the seaports of South Africa (Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London), Namibia (Walvis Bay), Mozambique (Beira, Nacala), and Tanzania (Dar es Salaam). From these seaports the goods are transported to Zambia by land via the borders of Zimbabwe, Botswana, Tanzania, and Namibia.

The main seaports are:

  • Durban Port
  • Walvis Bay
  • Dar es Salaam

Durban Port, South Africa.

For importing chemical goods, Camachem uses the largest port, Durban Port.

What Chemicals does Zambia Import?


According to the latest trade data, Zambia imported around $87.95 million in inorganic chemicals and $72.44 million in organic chemicals. They include chemicals such as:

Activated Carbon is one of the key chemicals that we export to Zambia

Ferric Chloride is one of the key chemicals that we export to Zambia

Caustic Soda is one of the key chemicals that we export to Zambia

What Regulations are there on Importing Chemicals to the Country?


Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) has appointed Bureau Veritas to implement the pre-export/import Verification of Conformity Programme. The importer/exporter is required to request for verification with Bureau Veritas. The request should include:

  • The list and designation of goods along with the name and address of importer and exporter.
  • Conformity documents
  • Request for Verification Form

The products are then reviewed or tested if necessary. After this, they are inspected by the inspection officer. After verification of the inspection report against the provided documents, the secured Certificate of Conformity is issued. This document is used for the clearance of goods.

Why should Zambia Import Chemicals?


Availability – The local chemical industry has quite limited capacity and some customers require chemical delivery in an efficient manner. It is highly in demand by various industries. Due to the immense increase in the demand of chemicals, it is necessary for Zambia to import it 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 world market. Due to the increase in demand, Zambia spent about $1.11 billion on the import of chemicals in 2019.

Chemical Quality – While a majority of international chemical suppliers have good company reputations and quality, some small domestic producers can have diverse chemical quality. Local chemical suppliers do not have good reputations and are generally not trusted much due to the bad quality of their products. Therefore, in order to get high quality products that meet their high standards, internationally acclaimed suppliers are the best option.

Where can I Buy Chemicals for Zambia?


Camachem has been exporting chemicals to clients in Zambia. 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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