Hungary’s Top 10 Exports

Hungary’s flag


A Central European nation sharing land borders with Slovakia, Ukraine, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, Hungary shipped US$113.6 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017.

That dollar amount reflects a 5.2% gain since 2013 and a 10.2% increase from 2016 to 2017.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Hungary’s exported goods plus services represent 94.1% of total Hungarian 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 continental perspective, almost nine-tenths (88.3%) of Hungarian exports by value were delivered to other European countries. Smaller percentages were sent to Asia (6.5%), North America (3.3%), Africa (0.8%) and Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (0.6%).

Given Hungary’s population of 9.9 million people, its total $113.6 billion in 2017 exported goods translates to roughly $10,500 for every resident in the landlocked European country.

Hungary’s unemployment rate was 3.8% as of January 2018 down from 4.3% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.

Hungary’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

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

At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, Hungary’s most valuable export products are cars trailed by auto parts or accessories, medication mixes in dosage, piston engines, mobile phones and computers.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$23.7 billion (20.9% of total exports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $21.1 billion (18.6%)
  3. Vehicles: $16.8 billion (14.8%)
  4. Pharmaceuticals: $5.5 billion (4.8%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: $4.4 billion (3.9%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $4.2 billion (3.7%)
  7. Mineral fuels including oil: $3.5 billion (3.1%)
  8. Rubber, rubber articles: $2.5 billion (2.2%)
  9. Organic chemicals: $1.9 billion (1.7%)
  10. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: $1.8 billion (1.6%)

Hungary’s top 10 exports accounted for three-quarters (75.2%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Led by refined petroleum oils and petroleum gases, mineral fuels including oil was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories via the 84.7% increase from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving export sales was the organic chemicals category via its 38.6% gain.

Hungarian shipments of pharmaceuticals posted the third-fastest uptick in value up 15.7%. Close behind up 15.6% was the gain for plastics and plastic articles.

Only two top categories declined in value, namely vehicles (down -9.5%) and furniture, bedding, lighting , signs and prefabricated buildings (down -0.3%).


Hungary achieved an overall $6.2-billion trade surplus in 2017, down -43.4% from its $11 billion in black for 2016.

The following types of Hungarian 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 reflect 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. Vehicles: US$5.2 billion (Down by -38.9% since 2016)
  2. Machinery including computers: $3.4 billion (Up by 4.8%)
  3. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.9 billion (Up by 13.7%)
  4. Electrical machinery, equipment: $1.7 billion (Down by -30.4%)
  5. Cereals: $1.5 billion (Up by 34.3%)
  6. Pharmaceuticals: $981.3 million (Up by 13.6%)
  7. Rubber, rubber articles: $533.7 million (Down by -9.5%)
  8. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: $485.8 million (Down by -14.8%)
  9. Meat: $484.6 million (Down by -26.6%)
  10. Organic chemicals: $464.8 million (Up by 149.4%)

Hungary has highly positive net exports in the international trade of vehicles, principally exported cars and to a lesser extent automotive parts and accessories. In turn, these cashflows indicate Hungary’s strong competitive advantages under the vehicles product category.


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

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US-$5.3 billion (Up by 32.9% since 2016)
  2. Iron, steel: -$896.5 million (Down by -8.7%)
  3. Articles of iron or steel: -$815.1 million (Up by 8.7%)
  4. Aircraft, spacecraft: -$770.7 million (Up by 26.6%)
  5. Aluminum: -$580.4 million (Up by 32.4%)
  6. Copper: -$516.9 million (Up by 29.9%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: -$514.4 million (Down by -12.4%)
  8. Tanning, dyes, paints, varnishes, ink: -$398.5 million (Up by 18.2%)
  9. Paper, paper items: -$386 million (Up by 13.3%)
  10. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$382.6 million (Up by 15.3%)

Hungary has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for mineral fuels-related products.


Hungarian Export Companies

Two Hungarian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000 for 2016. They are listed below.

  • MOL Hungarian Oil (oil, gas)
  • OTP Bank (regional financial institution)

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

  • Borsod Brewery (beverages)
  • BorsodChem (chemicals)
  • Ganz Works (automobiles)
  • Lehel (household goods)
  • Rába (automobiles)
  • Richter Gedeon Co. (pharmaceuticals)

Hungary’s capital city is Budapest.

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

See also Germany’s Top Trading Partners, Germany’s Top 10 Exports and Top EU Export Countries

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 27, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 27, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 27, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 27, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Hungary. Accessed on March 27, 2018

Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 27, 2018