Georgia’s Top 10 Exports

Georgia’s Top 10 Exports

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Strategically located at the crossroads between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, the nation of Georgia shipped US$3.4 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a -17.5% gain since 2014 and a 22.9% increase from 2017 to 2018.

From a continental perspective, 50.2% of Georgian exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 43.2% are sold to importers in fellow European nations. Georgia shipped another 5% worth of goods to North America, with 0.9% arriving in Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean plus another 0.6% going to Africa.

Given Georgia’s population of 4.9 million people, its total $3.4 billion for 2018 exports translates to roughly $700 for every resident in the country associated with the Middle East.

In macroeconomic terms, Georgia’s total exported goods represent 7.9% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($42.6 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 7.9% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2018 compares to 9.8% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Georgia’s total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that Georgia also provided $4.5 billion worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 10.5% of GDP in PPP.

Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Georgia’s unemployment rate was 12.7% for 2018 down from 13.9% in 2017, according to Trading Economics.

Georgia’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Georgian global shipments during 2018, at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Georgia.

  1. Ores, slag, ash: US$514 million (15.3% of total exports)
  2. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $473.6 million (14.1%)
  3. Vehicles: $453.9 million (13.5%)
  4. Iron, steel: $410.3 million (12.2%)
  5. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $160.6 million (4.8%)
  6. Pharmaceuticals: $160.5 million (4.8%)
  7. Fruits, nuts: $103.7 million (3.1%)
  8. Fertilizers: $92.7 million (2.8%)
  9. Gems, precious metals: $82.9 million (2.5%)
  10. Machinery including computers: $82.3 million (2.4%)

Georgia’s top 10 exports accounted for about three-quarters (75.4%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Tobacco and its manufactured substitutes was the fastest-growing among Georgia’s top 10 export categories, up 241.4% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for improving export sales was the vehicles category via its 72.5% acceleration.

Fertilizers from Georgia posted the third-fastest gain in value via a 20.4% increase.

The lone decliner among Georgia’s top exported products was the fruits and nuts category, thanks to its -3.3% downtick year over year.

Drilling down to the more detailed 4-digit HTS codes, Georgia’s most valuable exported goods are copper, cars, iron ferroalloys, wine, tobacco cigars and cigarettes, drugs and medicines, alcoholic beverages, mineral/aerated waters, nitrogenous fertilizers and gold.

Advantages

The following types of Georgian 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. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: US$374 million (Up by 11.8% since 2017)
  2. Iron, steel: $170.4 million (Down by -13.2%)
  3. Ores, slag, ash: $78.9 million (Up by 19.4%)
  4. Fertilizers: $78.1 million (Up by 28.4%)
  5. Gems, precious metals: $74.6 million (Up by 5.5%)
  6. Fruits, nuts: $25.6 million (Down by -52.8%)
  7. Live animals: $14 million (Down by -53.5%)
  8. Copper: $10.7 million (Down by -14.7%)
  9. Lead: $7.2 million (Up by 3.1%)
  10. Inorganic chemicals: $4.2 million (Up by 114.7%)

Georgia has highly positive net exports in the international trade of grape wines. In turn, these cashflows indicate Georgia’s strong competitive advantages under the beverages, spirits and vinegar category.

Opportunities

Overall Georgia incurred a -$5.8 billion trade deficit during 2018, up 10.7% from -$5.2 billion one year earlier.

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

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$1.3 billion (Up by 18.5% since 2017)
  2. Machinery including computers: -$912.1 million (Up by 38.6%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$582.6 million (Up by 1.8%)
  4. Vehicles: -$367.1 million (Down by -14.6%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: -$273.5 million (Up by 9.2%)
  6. Articles of iron or steel: -$230.1 million (Down by -4.5%)
  7. Pharmaceuticals: -$224.3 million (Down by -6%)
  8. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: -$140.9 million (Down by -6.2%)
  9. Cereals: -$135.1 million (Up by 17.7%)
  10. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$121.7 million (Up by 18.6%)

Under the mineral fuels including oil category, Georgia has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for refined oils and petroleum gases.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Georgia’s competitive disadvantages in the international pharmaceuticals market, but also represent key opportunities for Georgia to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.

Companies

Georgian Export Companies

Given the country’s tiny size, it should come as no surprise that not one Georgian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.

Wikipedia does list a group of Georgian companies which gives some insight into the types of exports shipped from Georgia. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Badagoni Wine Company (wine producer)
  • Georgian Industrial Group (energy products)
  • Kutaisi Auto Mechanical Plant (trucks, automotive parts)
  • MagtiCom Ltd (telecommunications)
  • JSC RMG Copper (copper, gold)
  • Rustavi Steel (steel products)
  • JSC Tbilaviamsheni (aerospace products)
  • Wissol Petroleum (oil, gas)


 

Georgia’s capital and largest city is Tbilisi.

See also Georgia’s Top Trading Partners

Research Sources:
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on January 22, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 27, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on January 22, 2019

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on January 22, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 27, 2019

Wikipedia, Georgia (country). Accessed on January 22, 2019

Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 27, 2019

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Georgia (country). Accessed on January 22, 2019

Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 27, 2019