Ethiopia earned 1.9 billion dollars from the export of goods in the first nine months of this fiscal year. It is a decline of nine percent compared to the same period last year and 39pc below the target. Leather products, milk products, spices, honey, wax, electronics, livestock, chemicals, construction raw materials, fish and gold performed less than half of their targets. The volatility of global prices, political instability in the country, electric power interruptions and a growing contraband trade were listed as reasons for the apparent decline. Lack of bargaining strength with large players in the international market was also cited as another reason by Wondimu Filate, communications affairs director at the Ministry of Trade & Industry. “We expect this weakness to be resolved once the Continental Free Trade Agreement becomes effective and Ethiopia joins the World Trade Organisation,” said Wondimu. Somalia was the largest destination for Ethiopian exports, with the United States and the Netherlands in second and third place, respectively. Agricultural products contributed most to the revenue, accounting for 76.8pc of the total.