Israel’s Top Trading Partners

Jerusalem diamond display courtesy of Pixabay.com

Jerusalem diamond display

Israel shipped US$60.9 billion worth of products around the globe in 2017. That figure represents roughly 0.4% of overall global exports estimated at $15.952 trillion one year earlier for 2016.

Over a third (34.1%) of Israeli exports by value were delivered to European countries while 29.9% were sold to North American importers. Israel shipped another 24.6% worth of goods to Asia.

Smaller percentages were sent to Africa (1.4%) and Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (2.5%).

Israel’s Top 15 Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing 15 of Israel’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Israeli shipments by dollar value during 2017. Also shown is each import country’s percentage consumption of total Israeli exports.

  1. United States: US$17.2 billion (28.2% of total Israeli exports)
  2. United Kingdom: $5.2 billion (8.5%)
  3. Hong Kong: $4.2 billion (6.9%)
  4. China: $3.3 billion (5.5%)
  5. Belgium: $2.7 billion (4.5%)
  6. Netherlands: $2.3 billion (3.8%)
  7. India: $1.9 billion (3.2%)
  8. France: $1.7 billion (2.9%)
  9. Germany: $1.6 billion (2.7%)
  10. Switzerland: $1.5 billion (2.4%)
  11. Turkey: $1.4 billion (2.4%)
  12. Italy: $935.4 million (1.5%)
  13. Brazil: $905.5 million (1.5%)
  14. South Korea: $894.1 million (1.5%)
  15. Japan: $844.2 million (1.4%)

Over three-quarters (76.7%) of Israeli exports in 2017 were delivered to the above 15 trading partners.

Israel increased its exports to the following four countries at the fastest pace: South Korea (up 54.1%), United Kingdom (up 32.9%), Brazil (up 21.2%) and France (up 20.2%).

Leading the nations with declining purchases of Israeli exports were: India (down -19.2%), Hong Kong (down -5.2%), Italy (down -2.4%) and America (down -2.3%).

Deficits

Overall, Israel incurred a -$8.2 billion product trade deficit for 2017 up by 56.9% from the -$5.2 billion in red ink 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.

In 2017, Israel incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:

  1. China: -US$5.7 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2017)
  2. Germany: -$3.3 billion
  3. Italy: -$2.3 billion
  4. Japan: -$1.5 billion
  5. Turkey: -$1.5 billion
  6. Russia: -$1.4 billion
  7. Vietnam: -$724.7 million
  8. Czech Republic: -$721 million
  9. Ukraine: -$679.8 million
  10. Belgium: -$637.3 million

Among Israel’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Israeli deficits with Russia (up 325.1%), China (up 120.5%) and Czech Republic (up 49.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

Israel’s trade with Vietnam went from a $757.5 million surplus in 2016 to a -$724.7 million deficit in 2017. Similarly, Israel incurred -$679.8 million in red ink in the latest period compared to a $53 million surplus one year earlier.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Israel’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Israel 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.

In 2017, Israel incurred the highest trade surpluses at the expense of the following countries:

  1. United States: US$9.2 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2017)
  2. United Kingdom: $3.3 billion
  3. Hong Kong: $2.7 billion
  4. Brazil: $482.4 million
  5. Netherlands: $475.4 million
  6. Australia: $406.3 million
  7. Canada: $354.6 million
  8. Cyprus: $279.8 million
  9. Greece: $251.3 million
  10. South Africa: $218.8 million

Among Israel’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Israeli surpluses with the United Kingdom (up 1,282%), Greece (up 209.4%) and Australia (up 24.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

Year over year, Israel went from a -$561.2 million deficit with the Netherlands during 2016 to a $475.4 million surplus in 2017. Israel’s trade balance with Cyprus also reversed course from a -$8.2 million deficit to $279.8 million worth of black ink for the most recent annual period.

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

Companies

Israeli Export Companies

Ten Israeli corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the world-class Israeli companies that Forbes included:

  • Bank Hapoalim (financial institution)
  • Bank Leumi (financial institution)
  • Check Point Software (information systems)
  • Delek Group (investment services)
  • FIBI Holdings (regional bank)
  • IDB Holding (investment services)
  • Israel Corp (investment services)
  • Israel Discount Bank (regional bank)
  • Mizrahi Tefahot Bank (regional bank)
  • Teva Pharmaceutical (health care)

Shown within parentheses is the industry in which each country operates.



 
See also Israel’s Top 10 Imports and Israel’s Top 10 Exports

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 12, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on March 12, 2018

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on March 12, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 12, 2018

Alibaba, Sourcing Buyers. Accessed on March 12, 2018