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Prices for African Exports to China Fall Precipitously, While the Cost of Chinese Imports Surges

A general view of at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port, an automated cargo wharf, in Shanghai on April 9, 2018. Trade at many Chinese ports has slowed dramatically due to the COVID-19 crisis. Johannes EISELE / AFP

The dramatic economic slowdown underway now in China due to the COVID-19 outbreak is acutely felt now across Africa’s economies in ways both large and small. Given the close economic ties between China and the overwhelming majority of African countries, the scale of the impact is expected to be enormous, as much as $4 billion this year alone according to a recent forecast by the London-based Overseas Development Institute.

Very few sectors in African economies are likely to going to avoid impact as commodity prices plummet on global markets while the cost of importing Chinese goods rises considerably amid constricted trade between the two regions.

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