ANGOLA – Angola’s food import bill jumped to US$2.8 billion in 2022 thanks to a significant jump in food prices in the international market, Statistics director of the National Bank of Angola (BNA) Joel Futi has revealed.
According to Futi, food prices accounted for 40% of the rise in the food import bill while volumes only accounted for 13.6%.
Rice, wheat, and palm oil accounted for a majority of the imports. According to data from the National Bank of Angola, the country imported 600,000 tonnes of Rice, 200,000 tonnes of palm oil, and 106,000 tonnes of wheat.
Chicken legs also accounted for a considerable portion of the imports at 300,000 tonnes. Sugar and cooking oil were also highlighted as the other main food imports driving up the country’s import bill.
Addressing the country’s food industry operators about the National Economic Conjuncture, Futi, underscored the need for local production to substitute imports.
“These large amounts show the need to invest in production instead of continuing to recurrently import these food products,” said Futi.
He was however confident that the country was moving towards that direction. “We know that some companies already have a strategy of investing in their production locally.”
One of the areas that has received particular attention when it comes to substituting wheat imports with local production has been the milling sector.
Vice-president of the Association of Moageiras Industries of Angola (AIMA), Kidy Aragão, stressed that the result is positive, because the central bank, as a regulatory entity, has created monetary policies necessary for national production.
Kidy Aragão said there were more than 12 manufacturing units operating in the milling segment with installed capacity to produce around 1.3 million tons of wheat flour, a quantity far above what is consumed in the national market.
“It is here where the Executive must create conditions and guidelines for economic operators in this sector to be able to start exporting this product”, he said.
Futi expressed optimism in lower food prices in the coming year as the pressure on the exchange rate which negatively impacted prices is returning to normal levels.
The country forecasts on reducing the inflation of food goods prices by 9-11% and boosting the economy by 3.3% this year, according to the BNA official.