A landlocked Central European nation surrounded by Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the Republic of Austria shipped US$179 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 23.2% gain since 2015 and a 1.1% increase from 2018 to 2019.
The latest available country-specific data shows that 72.4% of products exported from Austria were bought by importers in: Germany (28.7% of the global total), Italy (6.2%), United States (6.1%), Switzerland (4.9%), France (4.3%), Slovakia (4.2%), Hungary (3.5%), Poland (3.4%), Czech Republic (also 3.4%), China (2.9%), United Kingdom (2.8%) and Slovenia (2%).
From a continental perspective, 78.7% of Austria’s exports by value were delivered to European countries while 9.6% were sold to importers in Asia. Austria shipped another 7.8% worth of goods to North America. Smaller percentages went to Africa (1.3%), Oceania (1.1%) led by Australia then Latin America (1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
Given Austria’s population of 9 million people, its total $179 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $20,000 for every resident in the Central European nation.
Austria’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Austrian global shipments during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Austria.
- Machinery including computers: US$31.9 billion (17.8% of total exports)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $19.9 billion (11.1%)
- Vehicles: $19.2 billion (10.7%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $11.4 billion (6.4%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $7.8 billion (4.4%)
- Iron, steel: $7.1 billion (4%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $5.9 billion (3.3%)
- Wood: $5.4 billion (3%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $5 billion (2.8%)
- Paper, paper items: $4.9 billion (2.7%)
Austria’s top 10 exports accounted for about two-thirds (66.2%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Pharmaceuticals was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 13.3% from 2018 to 2019. In second place for improving export sales was electrical machinery and equipment via a 9.6%. Austria’s shipments of machinery including computers posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 2%.
The leading decliner among Austria’s top 10 export categories was iron and steel, thanks to a -13.9% drop year over year.
Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Austria’s Most Valuable Export Products below.
The following types of Austrian 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.
- Machinery including computers: US$7.3 billion (Up by 5.9% since 2018)
- Pharmaceuticals: $3.7 billion (Up by 34.9%)
- Iron, steel: $3 billion (Down by -5.5%)
- Paper, paper items: $2.5 billion (Down by -8.8%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $2.3 billion (Up by 5.2%)
- Wood: $2.2 billion (Up by 2.3%)
- Other base metal goods: $1.6 billion (Down by -5.2%)
- Manmade staple fibers: $1.1 billion (Down by -1.6%)
- Railways, streetcars: $660.7 million (Up by 126.2%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $538.5 million (Down by -5.9%)
Austria has highly positive net exports in the international trade of machines including computers. In turn, these cashflows indicate Austria’s strong competitive advantages under the machinery including computers category.
Overall Austria incurred a -$5.9 billion trade deficit for 2019, down -17.5% from -$7.2 billion in red ink one year earlier.
Below are exports from Austria that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Austria’s goods trail Austrian importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$9.8 billion (Down by -13.6% since 2018)
- Organic chemicals: -$2.8 billion (Down by -6.9%)
- Vehicles: -$2 billion (Up by 70.5%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): -$1.9 billion (Down by -5.2%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$1.8 billion (Down by -6.4%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$1.3 billion (Up by 10675.7%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: -$1.3 billion (Up by 11.7%)
- Ores, slag, ash: -$1.2 billion (Up by 1.5%)
- Rubber, rubber articles: -$1 billion (Up by 3.6%)
- Fruits, nuts: -$939.8 million (Down by -1.7%)
Austria has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for both crude and refined petroleum oils.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Austria’s competitive disadvantages in international mineral fuels-related markets, but also represent key opportunities for Austria to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations particularly in alternative energy sources.
Austrian Export Companies
Ten Austrian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Austrian companies that Forbes included.
- Andritz (other industrial equipment)
- OMV Group (oil, gas)
- STRABAG (construction services)
- Uniqa (diversified insurance)
- Voestalpine (iron, steel)
Wikipedia also lists exporters from Austria. Selected examples are shown below.
- Ams AG (semiconductors)
- Austria Metall (metals)
- Borealis (polyethylene, plastics)
- Bösendorfer (pianos)
- Julius Meinl (coffee)
- KTM (motorcycles)
- OMV (petroleum)
- Red Bull GmbH (beverages)
- Rosenbauer (fire-fighting vehicles)
- Runtastic (smartphone apps)
Searchable List of Austria’s Most Valuable Export Products
The following searchable table displays 100 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Austria during 2019. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2018.
|Rank||Austria's Export Product||2019 Value (US$)||Change|
|2||Medication mixes in dosage||$5,590,391,000||+3.8%|
|3||Blood fractions (including antisera)||$4,928,082,000||+29.1%|
|5||Phone system devices||$4,712,398,000||+124.4%|
|6||Non-alcoholic drinks (not water/juice/milk)||$3,217,772,000||+27.2%|
|8||Base metal mountings, fittings||$2,188,060,000||-3.4%|
|11||Electrical converters/power units||$1,830,583,000||+3%|
|12||Processed petroleum oils||$1,732,801,000||-7%|
|14||Centrifuges, filters and purifiers||$1,569,605,000||+69.4%|
|15||Flat-rolled other alloy steel products||$1,565,645,000||-12.4%|
|18||Wood carpentry, builders' joinery||$1,459,859,000||-1.1%|
|19||Computers, optical readers||$1,423,764,000||+87.1%|
|20||Miscellaneous plastic items||$1,398,730,000||+1.4%|
|22||Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)||$1,344,308,000||-10%|
|23||Miscellaneous iron and steel structures||$1,219,754,000||-1.7%|
|24||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$1,182,295,000||-6.1%|
|28||Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)||$1,069,307,000||+5.5%|
|30||Electric motors, generators||$1,025,235,000||-2.4%|
|31||Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs||$1,019,718,000||+20.9%|
|32||Hormones, miscellaneous steroids||$1,011,279,000||+28.4%|
|33||Solar power diodes/semi-conductors||$973,459,000||+16.4%|
|34||Piston engine parts||$971,393,000||-9.1%|
|37||Taps, valves, similar appliances||$922,922,000||-7.1%|
|38||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$915,495,000||+8.1%|
|39||Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters||$911,970,000||-11.2%|
|41||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$903,279,000||-4.3%|
|42||Unrecorded sound media||$895,883,000||-10.4%|
|43||Particle board, other ligneous materials||$886,863,000||+16.3%|
|44||Other measuring/testing machines||$865,428,000||-0.6%|
|46||Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips||$833,610,000||-10.2%|
|47||Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)||$833,014,000||-9.4%|
|48||Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels||$826,143,000||-6.2%|
|49||Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches||$823,641,000||-0.9%|
|50||Transmission shafts, gears, clutches||$817,018,000||+4.5%|
|51||Liquid pumps and elevators||$811,180,000||-0.3%|
|52||Paper containers, cellulose wadding||$810,401,000||-0.9%|
|53||Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips||$805,640,000||-3.5%|
|55||Refined copper, unwrought alloys||$796,420,000||-0.7%|
|57||Aluminum plates, sheets, strips||$774,076,000||-11.2%|
|58||Machinery for making semi-conductors||$772,959,000||+1.6%|
|60||Miscellaneous aluminum items||$760,680,000||-11.4%|
|61||Rubber/plastic article making machines||$743,713,000||-16.9%|
|63||Miscellaneous animal feed preparations||$723,540,000||+0.6%|
|65||Pneumatic hand tool||$719,937,000||+5.9%|
|66||Locomotives/rolling stock miscellaneous parts||$709,999,000||+2.5%|
|67||Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products||$708,265,000||-15%|
|68||Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries||$707,992,000||+3.2%|
|71||Iron or steel tubes, pipes||$679,628,000||-12.2%|
|72||Ball, roller bearings||$679,045,000||-3.4%|
|73||Electric storage batteries||$648,578,000||-33.9%|
|74||Air or vacuum pumps||$627,892,000||-9.9%|
|75||Uncoated kraft paper||$616,010,000||-5.5%|
|77||Other food preparations||$607,762,000||-2.8%|
|81||Uncoated paper for writing/printing||$558,808,000||-6.5%|
|82||Other machine parts, accessories||$525,707,000||+10.8%|
|84||Special purpose vehicles||$523,484,000||+35.8%|
|85||Assembling machine tools||$523,093,000||+3.9%|
|88||Physical/chemical analysis tools||$506,203,000||-1.8%|
|89||Sutures, special pharmaceutical goods||$504,920,000||-0.7%|
|90||Central heating boilers||$500,116,000||+5.3%|
|91||Bridge/tower structures, parts||$488,112,000||-2.3%|
|92||Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers||$485,201,000||+13.3%|
|93||Railway track construction material||$472,759,000||-5.5%|
|94||Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings||$459,897,000||-3.1%|
|95||Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes||$437,007,000||-1.9%|
|98||Electric generating sets, converters||$421,767,000||-19.6%|
|99||Chocolate, other cocoa preparations||$418,809,000||-0.5%|
|100||Other organic cleaning preparations||$417,106,000||-3.3%|
These 100 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$114.6 billion or almost two-thirds (64%) by value for all products exported from Austria during 2019.
In macroeconomic terms, Austria’s total exported goods represent 37.3% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2019 ($479.4 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 37.3% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2019 compares to 39.9% for 2018. This suggests a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Austria’s total economic performance albeit based on a short timeframe. These metrics include a significant amount of re-exporting activity.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Austria’s average unemployment rate was 5.1% for 2019 down from 4.85% one year earlier, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Austria’s capital city is Vienna.
See also Austria’s Top Trading Partners and Austria’s Top 10 Imports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 21, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 21, 2020
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on March 21, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 21, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 21, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 21, 2020
Wikipedia, Austria. Accessed on March 21, 2020
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 21, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Austria. Accessed on March 21, 2020
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on March 21, 2020