Located in western Asia, the Republic of Armenia shipped US$2.4 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 59.8% increase since 2014 and an 11% uptick from 2017 to 2018.
The latest data shows that 82% of products exported from Armenia were bought by importers in: Russia (26.9% of the global total), Switzerland (14.1%), Bulgaria (9%), Iraq (6.3%), Germany (5.7%), Netherlands (5.6%), China (4.5%), Iran (4%), United Arab Emirates (3.1%) and Georgia.
From a continental perspective, 71.1% of Armenia’s exports by value were delivered to Europe countries while 24.8% were sold to Asian importers. Armenia shipped another 3.4% worth of goods to North America. Smaller percentages went to Africa (0.1%), Latin America (0.01%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.003%) specifically Australia and New Zealand.
Given Armenia’s population of 3 million people, its total $2.4 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $800 for every resident in the Western Asian country.
In macroeconomic terms, Armenia’s total exported goods represent 7.8% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($30.4 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 7.8% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2018 compares to 9.7% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Armenia’s total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that Armenia also provided $2.1 billion worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 6.8% of GDP in PPP.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Armenia’s unemployment rate was 16.9% at December 2018 down from 18% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.
Armenia’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Armenian global shipments during 2018 at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Armenia.
- Ores, slag, ash: US$557.1 million (23.4% of total exports)
- Gems, precious metals: $306.3 million (12.9%)
- Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $267.6 million (11.2%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $229.7 million (9.6%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $157.5 million (6.6%)
- Iron, steel: $126.5 million (5.3%)
- Aluminum: $96.1 million (4%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $80.8 million (3.4%)
- Copper: $68.3 million (2.9%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $53.2 million (2.2%)
Armenia ’s top 10 exports accounted for 81.6% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Knit or crochet clothing and accessories was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 83.1% year over year since 2017.
In second place for improving export sales was unknit and non-crochet clothing or accessories which rose 68.3%.
Armenia ‘s shipments of iron and steel in metal form posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 49.4%.
The leading decliner among Armenia’s top 10 export categories was copper which fell -11.3%
From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, copper ores and concentrates represent Armenia ’s most valuable exported product at 22.1% of the country’s total. In second place were cigars, cigarellos and cigarettes (11.2%) trailed by alcoholic spirits and liqueurs (8.3%), gold (7.4%), iron ferroalloys (5.3%), thin aluminum foil (3.9%), electrical energy (3.3%), unmounted and unset diamonds (3.2%), unrefined copper (2.5%) then unknit and non-crochet men’s suits or trousers (2.1%).
The following types of Armenian product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.
In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.
- Ores, slag, ash: US$555 million (Down by -7.1% since 2017)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $188.6 million (Up by 4.6%)
- Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $137.2 million (Down by -16%)
- Copper: $62.5 million (Down by -14.4%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $61.1 million (Up by 265.2%)
- Gems, precious metals: $21.8 million (Reversing a -$74.8 million deficit)
- Clocks, watches including parts: $21.4 million (Up by 601.4%)
- Fish: $20 million (Up by 34.3%)
- Iron, steel: $19.1 million (Up by 440%)
- Vegetables: $16.3 million (Reversing an -$8.6 million deficit)
Armenia has highly positive net exports in the international trade of ores or concentrates notably those for copper, zinc, molybdenum and precious metals. In turn, these cashflows indicate Armenia’s strong competitive advantages under the ores, slag and ash product category.
Overall Armenia incurred a -$2.4 billion trade deficit for 2018, up 38.1% from -$1.7 billion in red ink one year earlier.
Below are exports from Armenia that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Armenia’s goods trail Armenian importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$594.9 million (Up by 7.2% since 2017)
- Machinery including computers: -$543.7 million (Up by 55.2%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$345.3 million (Up by 45.9%)
- Vehicles: -$166.4 million (Up by 25%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$137.3 million (Down by -15.4%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$129.9 million (Up by 28%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$90.4 million (Up by 13.7%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: -$87.8 million (Up by 126.7%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$85.9 million (Up by 51.5%)
- Paper, paper items: -$85.6 million (Up by 22.3%)
Armenia has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits notably for petroleum gases and refined petroleum oils under the mineral fuels including oil category.
Armenian Export Companies
Not one Armenian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists export-related companies from Armenia. Selected examples are shown below:
- Ararat Cement (construction materials)
- Avshar Wine Factory (winery)
- Jermuk Mineral Water Factory (mineral water)
- Kotayk Brewery (alcoholic beverages)
- Multi Group Stone (stone works)
- Ucom (telecommunications)
- Yerevan Brandy Company (alcoholic beverages)
- Yerevan Computer Research and Development Institute (technology)
- Yerevan Confectionery and Macaroni Factory (food)
- Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum (metals)
Armenia’s capital city is Yerevan.
See also Georgia’s Top Trading Partners, Turkey’s Top Trading Partners and Top Asian Countries
Forbes 2018 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 27, 2019
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on July 4, 2019
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 4, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 27, 2019
The World Factbook, Africa: Uganda. Accessed on April 27, 2019
Wikipedia, Armenia. Accessed on April 27, 2019
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on July 4, 2019
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Armenia. Accessed on April 27, 2019
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on July 4, 2019