Croatia’s Top 10 Exports

Croatia’s Top 10 Exports


Croatia shipped US$13.8 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016, up by 11.7% since 2009 when the Great Recession kicked in and up by 7.5% from 2015 to 2016.

Croatia’s top 10 exports accounted for 57% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Croatia’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $94.2 billion as of October 2016. Therefore, exports accounted for about 14.7% of total Croatian economic output.

From a continental perspective, 86.3% of Croatian exports by value are delivered to other European countries while 6.5% are sold to Asian importers. Croatia ships another 4.1% worth of goods to North America with 2.2% going to customers in Africa.

Given Croatia’s population of 4.3 million people, its total $13.8 billion in 2016 exports translates to roughly $3,200 for every resident in that country.

Croatia’s unemployment rate was 15.3% as of February 2017 down from 17.2% in March 2016, according to Trading Economics.

Croatia’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Croatian global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Croatia. At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Croatia’s number 1 exported product is refined petroleum oil followed by prophylactic or therapeutic drugs and medicines, electrical energy then sawn wood.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$1.3 billion (9.4% of total exports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $1.26 billion (9.1%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: $1.2 billion (8.9%)
  4. Pharmaceuticals: $927.9 million (6.7%)
  5. Wood: $791.3 million (5.7%)
  6. Furniture, bedding, lighting , signs, prefab buildings: $549.2 million (4.0%)
  7. Vehicles: $512.8 million (3.7%)
  8. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $492.0 million (3.6%)
  9. Articles of iron or steel: $428.6 million (3.1%)
  10. Plastics, plastic articles: $388.9 million (2.8%)

Croatian-made vehicles were the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up 145.6% for the 7-year period starting in 2009.

In second place for improving export sales were pharmaceuticals up 84.9%.

Exported plastics and plastic items posted the third-fastest gain in value up 56.7%.

The sole declining category among top Croatian exports was mineral fuels including oil, down -23.3%.


The following types of Croatian 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 is 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. Wood: US$508.6 million (Up by 157.1% since 2009)
  2. Arms, ammunition: $151.1 million (Up by 173.4%)
  3. Ships, boats: $125.1 million (Down by -71.7%)
  4. Cereals: $115 million (Up by 15.4%)
  5. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: $104.8 million (Down by -165.5%)
  6. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $101.1 million (Up by 37.4%)
  7. Live animals: $90.8 million (Down by -161.8%)
  8. Fertilizers: $82.7 million (Down by -32.9%)
  9. Leather/animal gut articles: $82.7 million (Up by 937.2%)
  10. Oil seeds: $76.3 million (Up by 202%)

Croatia has highly positive net exports in the international trade of lumber. In turn, these cashflows indicate Croatia’s strong competitive advantages under the wood product category.


Overall, Croatia incurred a -$8.1 billion trade deficit during 2016 down -24.7% from -$10.7 billion for 2009.

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

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$1.4 billion (Down by -37.7% since 2009)
  2. Vehicles : -$1.1 billion (Down by -6.4%)
  3. Machinery including computers: -$899.5 million (Down by -47%)
  4. Plastics, plastic articles: -$591.3 million (Up by 34.2%)
  5. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$510.8 million (Down by -0.4%)
  6. Iron, steel: -$388.2 million (Down by -26.9%)
  7. Pharmaceuticals: -$339.3 million (Down by -26%)
  8. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$278.6 million (Up by 5.7%)
  9. Meat: -$271.5 million (Up by 39.8%)
  10. Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: -$254.6 million (Up by 891%)

Croatia has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for mineral fuels including oil, particularly crude oil and petroleum gases.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Croatia’s competitive disadvantages in the international fossil fuel market, but also represent key opportunities for Croatia to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations particularly in alternative energy sources.


Croatian Export Companies

Not one of Croatia’s corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000 for 2015.

Wikipedia does list exporters from Croatia. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Vindija (dairy products)
  • Podravka (food)
  • Koestlin (biscuits, other confectionery products)
  • Efke (photographic papers, chemicals)
  • Viro (refined sugar)
  • Rimac Automobili (electric vehicles)

Zagreb is the capital city of the Republic of Croatia.

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

See also Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Top 10 Exports, Germany’s Top 10 Exports and Highest Value UK Export Products

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 29, 2017

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 29, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 29, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 29, 2017

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Croatia. Accessed on March 29, 2017

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 29, 2017