Belarus shipped US$33.5 billion worth of products around the globe in 2018. That dollar figure represents roughly 0.19% of overall global exports estimated at $17.546 trillion one year earlier.
From a continental lens, 82% of Belarusian exports by value were sent to fellow European countries while 10.3% were sold to Asian importers. Belarus shipped 2.5% worth of its total exports to Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
Even smaller percentages went to importers in other continents (Africa, North America, Oceania).
Belarus Top 15 Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Belarus’ top trading partners, countries that imported the most Belarusian shipments by dollar value during 2018. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Belarusian exports.
- Russia: US$12.9 billion (38.5% of total Belarusian exports)
- Ukraine: $4.1 billion (12.1%)
- United Kingdom: $3.1 billion (9.2%)
- Germany: $1.4 billion (4.3%)
- Netherlands: $1.4 billion (4.3%)
- Poland: $1.3 billion (4%)
- Lithuania: $1.2 billion (3.4%)
- Kazakhstan: $780.1 million (2.3%)
- Brazil: $585.1 million (1.7%)
- Latvia: $471.9 million (1.4%)
- China: $467.9 million (1.4%)
- India: $299 million (0.9%)
- United States: $274.3 million (0.8%)
- Indonesia: $227.4 million (0.7%)
- Azerbaijan: $223.8 million (0.7%)
Approaching nine-tenths (85.8%) of Belarusian exports in 2018 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Azerbaijan increased purchases from Belarus at the fastest pace, up by 89.6% in value from 2017 to 2018. Indonesia boosted its imports from Belarus by 71.9% trailed by Lithuania (up 36%), Latvia (up 34.7%), Brazil (up 33%) then Kazakhstan (up 32.7%).
Belarus incurred an overall -$4.7 billion trade deficit during 2018, down by -4.5% from -$5 billion one year earlier.
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports. Overall, Belarus incurred a -$4 billion trade deficit during 2016.
In 2018, Belarus incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:
- Russia: -US$9.5 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2018)
- China: -$2.5 billion
- Italy: -$662.4 million
- Turkey: -$613.2 million
- Germany: -$365.8 million
- Spain: -$256.7 million
- France: -$246.5 million
- United States: -$163.3 million
- Czech Republic: -$159.2 million
- Switzerland: -$132.8 million
Among Belarus’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Belarusian deficits with Czech Republic (up 50.2%), Russia (up 46%) and Switzerland (up 18.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Belarus’ competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Belarus to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
In 2018, Belarus incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:
- United Kingdom: US$2.8 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2018)
- Ukraine: $2.7 billion
- Netherlands: $1.1 billion
- Lithuania: $799.9 million
- Kazakhstan: $668.8 million
- Brazil: $564.1 million
- Latvia: $375.1 million
- Azerbaijan: $209.4 million
- Indonesia: $197 million
- Poland: $151.5 million
Among Belarus’ trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Belarusian surpluses with Azerbaijan (up 93.4%), Indonesia (up 81.5%) and Lithuania (up 50.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
In addition, Belarus went from a -$252.6 million deficit in 2017 to a $151.5 million surplus for 2018.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Belarus’ competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Belarus to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Belarusian Trading Partners
Given that Belarus is an emerging economy, it should come as no surprise that no Belarusian corporation appears on the Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia does list Belarusian export companies. Selected examples are shown below:
- JSC Defense Systems (air defense manufacturer)
- Minsk Automobile Plant (automobiles)
- Olivaria (brewery)
- TransAVIAexport Airlines (cargo airline)
- Belkamunmash (electric public transport vehicles)
- BelAZ (haulage, earth-moving equipment)
- Velcom (mobile phones)
- Minsk Motorcycle (motorcycles)
- Beltransgaz (natural gas)
- Belshina (pneumatic tires)
- Byelorussian Steel Works (steel)
- Minsk Tractor Works (tractors)
See also Belarus Top 10 Exports
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 18, 2019
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 18, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 18, 2019
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 18, 2019
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 18, 2019
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Belarus. Accessed on March 18, 2019