Original Research

Trends and volatility in sub Saharan Africa’s key primary commodity exports

Matthew Ocran, Nicholas Biekpe
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 10, No 1 | a541 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v10i1.541 | © 2013 Matthew Ocran, Nicholas Biekpe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 February 2013 | Published: 21 February 2013

About the author(s)

Matthew Ocran, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Nicholas Biekpe, University of Stellenbosch

Full Text:



Using a GARCH model the paper sought to test the hypothesis that price volatility of key Sub Saharan Africa primary commodity exports, have not changed over the past four decades. Whilst crude oil, aluminium, cocoa and six others have not experienced significant change in price volatility over the period, nine other major commodities recorded changes. Efforts need to be made to extensively diversify the portfolio of agricultural commodity exports by including new products of which price volatilities in the past decades have been reduced. This is crucial for countries that depend on up to three primary commodities for the bulk of their foreign exchange earnings. Other measures such as value addition can also help in reducing impacts of unfavourable price movements.


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