Denmark’s Top Trading Partners

Denmark's flag

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A Scandinavian country in northern Europe, Denmark is located south of fellow Nordic nations Sweden and Norway and is bordered to its south by Europe’s largest economic power Germany.

Denmark shipped US$94.2 billion worth of products around the globe in 2016. That figure represents roughly 0.6% of overall global exports estimated at $16.236 trillion one year earlier in 2015.

From a continental perspective, 73.6% of Danish exports by value are delivered to other European countries while 13.4% are sold to Asian importers. Denmark ships another 6.6% to North America while 1.3% worth are delivered to customers in Africa.

Denmark’s Top Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing 15 of Denmark’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Danish shipments by dollar value during 2016. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Danish exports.

  1. Germany: US$14.1 billion (15% of total Danish exports)
  2. Sweden: $10.7 billion (11.4%)
  3. Norway: $5.8 billion (6.2%)
  4. United Kingdom: $5.6 billion (6%)
  5. United States: $4.7 billion (5%)
  6. Netherlands: $4.3 billion (4.5%)
  7. China: $3.3 billion (3.6%)
  8. France: $2.8 billion (3%)
  9. Poland: $2.6 billion (2.7%)
  10. Italy: $2.3 billion (2.4%)
  11. Finland: $2.1 billion (2.2%)
  12. Spain: $1.8 billion (1.9%)
  13. Japan: $1.5 billion (1.6%)
  14. Belgium: $1.4 billion (1.5%)
  15. Ireland: $989 million (1%)

Over two-thirds (68%) of Danish exports in 2016 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

China led all top importers increasing its purchases from Denmark by 73.6% from 2009 to 2016.

The second-fastest growing importer from Denmark was Poland (up 26.2%) followed by the Netherlands (up 14.8%).

Among the other countries, declines ranged from a -4.9% slowdown for Sweden to a -23.9% setback for the United Kingdom.

Deficits

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.

In 2016, Denmark incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:

  1. Germany: -US$4.1 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2016)
  2. China: -$3.1 billion
  3. Netherlands: -$2.5 billion
  4. Belgium: -$1.4 billion
  5. Czech Republic: -$863.4 million
  6. Italy: -$848.9 million
  7. Poland: -$704 million
  8. Russia: -$675.1 million
  9. Bangladesh: -$609.7 million
  10. India: -$365.2 million

Among trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Danish deficits with Russia (up from a $646.5 million surplus in 2009), Poland (up 1,216%), Bangladesh (up 224.2%) and the Czech Republic (up 215.2%) grew at the fastest pace.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Denmark’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Denmark to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

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. Denmark posted an overall $9.1 billion trade surplus for 2016, down -20.8% from the $11.4 surplus during 2009.

In 2016, Denmark incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:

  1. Norway: US$2.3 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2016)
  2. United States: $2.2 billion
  3. United Kingdom: $2.1 billion
  4. Japan: $1.1 billion
  5. Finland: $999.7 million
  6. Australia: $821.4 million
  7. Saudi Arabia: $576.1 million
  8. Hong Kong: $391.3 million
  9. Spain: $387.2 million
  10. Iceland: $375.4 million

Among Denmark’s trading partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, Danish surpluses with Saudi Arabia (up 121.4%), Iceland (up 83.5%) and Norway (up 65.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Denmark’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Denmark to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Companies Servicing Danish Trading Partners

Fourteen Danish corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000 for 2015. Below is a sample of the major Danish companies that Forbes included:

  • A.P. Moller-Maersk Group (transportation, energy)
  • Novo Nordisk (pharmaceuticals)
  • Carlsberg (beverages)
  • Coloplast (medical equipment, supplies)
  • TDC (telecommunications services)
  • Novozymes (biotechs)
  • Vestas Wind Systems (electrical equipment)
  • DSV (transportation, logistics)

Wikipedia also lists exporters from Denmark. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Arla Foods (dairy products)
  • House of Amber (jewelry)
  • Kopenhagen Fur (fur clothing, accessories)
  • Lego Group (toys)
  • Royal Copenhagen (porcelain)
  • Tuborg (brewery)
  • Pharma Nord (pharmaceuticals)


 
See also Denmark’s Top 10 Exports

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 1, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on March 1, 2017

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on March 1, 2017
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Denmark. Accessed on March 1, 2017

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 1, 2017