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China is Buying More Agricultural Products From Africa, But There Is Still a Lot of Room For Growth

Employees at the Afrupro packaging warehouse work on an avocado packing line in Tzaneen, on March 8, 2021. Guillem Sartorio / AFP

Chinese consumers can now buy Kenyan coffee, tea, and avocados — all shipped tariff-free. The latest data show that China is buying more agricultural products from Africa, but for all the Kenyan farm produce heading east, Chinese garlic and fish are also increasingly heading in the opposite direction.

In the context of overall China-Africa trade that hardly grew in 2023 while Africa’s trade deficit widened, the agricultural trade segment increased by over 6%, and China is the side holding the trade deficit.   

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