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Senegal Prospects for US Exporters

Senegal – Prospects For U.S. Exporters

Senegal is one of the strongest economies in West Africa, with an annual GDP growth rate exceeding 6 percent over the last three years. Senegal imports approximately 70 percent of its food. Population growth, urbanization, and evolving diets have led to increased and diversified food imports. Although representing about 10 percent of the population, a growing middle- to upper-class is slowly changing its buying habits and food preferences, which is leading to increased demand for high-value imported foods. Senegalese consumer perception of U.S. food quality is very positive. On average, Senegalese consumers currently spend 58 percent of their disposable income on food and beverages.

Senegal imported $1.7 billion of agricultural and related products in 2018. U.S. agricultural and related exports to Senegal last year totaled $12.2 million, a 44 percent decrease from 2014, a year of extremely high commodity prices. Major U.S. exports were soybean oil, prepared food, and feed and fodder (feed supplements). Top U.S. competitors in the Senegalese market are the EU, India, and China.

Since 2005, Senegal has implemented a ban on imports of uncooked poultry and poultry product. Senegal imported around $1.1 million of cooked/processed poultry and poultry products (excluding eggs) in 2018, none from the United States. Likewise, Senegal has not approved imports of genetically engineered (GE) products or foods derived from GE commodities, which means no GE commodities or derived foods can currently be imported.

Key Agricultural Trade Prospects

Soybean Oil:

Soybean oil accounted for 64 percent of U.S. agricultural and related exports to Senegal in 2018. The United States exported $7.3 million of soybean oil in 2018, an 84-percent increase from 2014. The United States was the largest exporter of soybean oil in the $8 million Senegalese soybean oil market in 2018. U.S. competitors are Morocco and the EU. Palm oil is a cheaper alternative to soybean oil for Senegalese consumers and the country imported $126 million of palm oil in 2018.

Feeds and Fodders:

Feed supplements were one of the largest U.S. product group exports to Senegal in 2018. The United States exported $883,000 of feed supplements to Senegal in 2018, which was a 2400-percent increase from 2014. However, that only covered 6 percent of Senegal’s $15.7 million feed supplements import market. The United States was absent from the Senegalese feeds supplement market in 2015 and 2016. Top U.S. competitors in the market are the EU and Côte d’Ivoire.

Fresh Vegetables:

Senegal imports many fresh vegetables such as onions, shallots, potatoes, garlic, carrots, and turnips. Senegal imported roughly $118 million of fresh vegetables in 2018. Onions, shallots, leeks, and garlic alone accounted for $87 million. There was an 80 percent increase in onion and shallots imports from 2014 to 2018. The EU, China, and Morocco are the largest competitors in the Senegalese fresh vegetable market.

Beef and Beef Products:

The Senegalese enjoy beef as a source of protein, and it ranks as their second-largest protein source after fish. Senegal imported $18 million of beef in 2018. U.S. beef is generally more expensive than the competition, making it difficult to compete in this price-sensitive market. India is the largest competitor, supplying 57 percent of Senegal’s beef imports.  Some restaurants and hotels catering to middle- and upper-income level consumers, however, have shown great interest in buying U.S. beef. 

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Research Sources:
United States Department of Agriculture.

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