The market for gum Arabic, Gum Olibanum and Myrrh, major gum and resin supply from Africa, is estimated to be USD 950 million. The annual export of natural gum and resins is estimated to be 800 million USD whereas export of Gum Arabic were estimated to be over USD 300 million in 2019. The leading exporters of crude Gum Arabic are Sudan, Nigeria and Chad while France, Germany and United Sates of America are the top three in processed gum Arabic export. Export value of Gum Olibanum, Myrrh and Opoponax is estimated to be over 50 million USD. Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are the leading producers and exporters with aggregate estimated export value of USD 43 million.
Ethiopia has a solid potential for gums and resins, particularly gum Olibanum and Gum Arabic. Informants and researches indicated that the country has one of the largest resource bases for commercial plant gum and resin production.
A report compiled by IGAD (2015) showed there are over 60 gum and resin bearing species and the country has 3.5 million ha gum and resin bearing forest coverage. Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz and Tigray have strong potential for Gum Arabic and white Gum Olibanum. Somali and Oromia region are suited for Gum Olibanum and Myrrh to some extent.
Despite the general consensus about the potential, the actual production, as discussed in the previous sections, is low. The table below summarizes the production belts and potentials for different gums and resins.
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