Azerbaijan’s Top 10 Exports

Azerbaijan flag


Strategically positioned at the confluence of southwestern Asia with southeastern Europe north of Iran and south of Russia, the Republic of Azerbaijan shipped US$16.5 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017.

That dollar amount reflects a -30.9% decline since 2013 but an 82.3% increase from 2016 to 2017.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Azerbaijan’s exported goods plus services represent 45.9% of total Azerbaijani economic output or Gross Domestic Product. Please note that the overall value of exported goods and services includes a sizable share of re-exports. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a 2016 continental data perspective, 49.4% of Azerbaijani exports by value were delivered to European countries while 46.4% were sold to Asian importers. Azerbaijan shipped 2.5% worth of goods to Africa with another 1.6% going to North American customers.

Given Azerbaijan’s population of 10 million people, its total $16.5 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $1,700 for every resident in the country.

Trading Economics projects Azerbaijan’s unemployment rate to be 5.5% at June 2018 compared to 6% in May 2017.

Azerbaijan’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Azerbaijani global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Azerbaijan.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$15 billion (90.5% of total exports)
  2. Fruits, nuts: $271.4 million (1.6%)
  3. Vegetables: $208.7 million (1.3%)
  4. Gems, precious metals: $160.7 million (1%)
  5. Aluminum: $137.5 million (0.8%)
  6. Plastics, plastic articles: $118.4 million (0.7%)
  7. Organic chemicals: $92 million (0.6%)
  8. Cotton: $55.1 million (0.3%)
  9. Iron, steel: $45.9 million (0.3%)
  10. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $39.5 million (0.2%)

Azerbaijan’s top 10 exports are highly concentrated, accounting for 97.4% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Gems and precious metals was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 37,091% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving export sales was the salt, sulphur, stone and cement category which rose by 160.8%.

Azerbaijani cotton posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 127.6%.

The slowest gainer among the top 10 Azerbaijani export categories was fruits and nuts via a respectable 11.3% uptick year over year.


Overall, Azerbaijan achieved an $8.9 billion trade surplus for 2017–much higher than the $550.7 million in black ink during 2016.

The following types of Azerbaijani 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.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$14.8 billion (Up by 92.6% since 2016)
  2. Fruits, nuts: $231.2 million (Up by 35.4%)
  3. Vegetables: $183.7 million (Up by 174.1%)
  4. Aluminum: $72.7 million (Up by 177.3%)
  5. Organic chemicals: $67.3 million (Up by 1,021%)
  6. Gems, precious metals: $62.3 million (Reversing an -$11.6 million deficit)
  7. Cotton: $51.8 million (Up by 166.4%)
  8. Ores, slag, ash: $20.5 million (Up by 36.2%)
  9. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $14.4 million (Reversing a -$30.6 million deficit)
  10. Copper: $14.4 million (Reversing a -$11.3 million deficit)

Azerbaijan has highly positive net exports in the international trade of crude oil and, to a lesser extent, petroleum gases and refined oils. In turn, these cashflows indicate Azerbaijan’s strong competitive advantages under the category called mineral fuels including oil.


Below are exports from Azerbaijan that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Azerbaijan’s goods trail Azerbaijani importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Machinery including computers: -US$1.1 billion (Down by -20.2% since 2016)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$568.4 million (Up by 0.2%)
  3. Articles of iron or steel: -$443.1 million (Down by -44.3%)
  4. Vehicles: -$418.7 million (Up by 77.3%)
  5. Aircraft, spacecraft: -$267.9 million (Up by 100.3%)
  6. Cereals: -$260.4 million (Down by -24%)
  7. Pharmaceuticals: -$220.8 million (Up by 13.1%)
  8. Iron, steel: -$218.5 million (Down by -3.8%)
  9. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$182.3 million (Up by 3.4%)
  10. Wood: -$176.6 million (Down by -6.2%)

Azerbaijan has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the machinery including computers category.


Azerbaijani Export Companies

Not one Azerbaijani corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000 for 2016.

Wikipedia lists exports-related companies from Azerbaijan. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Akkord Industry Construction Investment Corp (construction materials)
  • Azal Avia Cargo (cargo airline)
  • AzMeCo (methanol)
  • AzSamand (vehicles)
  • Bahra Biscuit Factory (food)
  • Ganja Auto Plant (vehicles)
  • Gazelli Group (cosmetics)
  • Inter Glass (glass products)
  • Shollar water (beverages)
  • SOCAR (oil, gas)

Azerbaijan’s capital city is Baku, derived from Persian wording that translates to “Wind-pounded city”.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also Crude Oil Exports by Country, Sweet Cherries Exports by Country and Capital Facts for Baku, Azerbaijan

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 3, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on June 3, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 3, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 3, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Azerbaijan. Accessed on June 3, 2018

Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 3, 2018