Mongolia’s Top 10 Exports

Mongolia's flag (courtesy of

Mongolia’s flag

A landlocked East Asian nation bordered by economic powerhouses Russia to its north and China to its south, Mongolia shipped an estimated US$6.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a 24.8% increase from 2016 to 2017 and a 43.7% gain since 2013.

Data from 2016 shows that 97.7% of products exported from Mongolia were bought by importers in: China (79% of the global total), United Kingdom (16%), Russia (1.1%), Germany (0.7%) and Italy (0.7%).

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Mongolia’s exported goods plus services represent 70.8% of total Mongolian 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.

Given Mongolia’s population of 3.1 million people, its total $6.1 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $2,000 for every resident in the vast East Asian country.

Mongolia’s unemployment rate was 7.5% as of June 2018 per Trading Economics.

Mongolia’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

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

From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, coal including solid fuels made from coal represent Mongolia’s most valuable exported product followed by copper ore, gold, crude oil, iron and animal hair.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$2.6 billion (42.4% of total exports)
  2. Ores, slag, ash: $2.2 billion (35.3%)
  3. Gems, precious metals: $662 million (10.8%)
  4. Wool: $197.9 million (3.2%)
  5. Copper: $103.5 million (1.7%)
  6. Fruits, nuts: $89.3 million (1.5%)
  7. Meat: $70.4 million (1.1%)
  8. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $54.5 million (0.9%)
  9. Oil seeds: $44.3 million (0.7%)
  10. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $32.9 million (0.5%)

Mongolia’s top 10 exports accounted for 98.1% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Meat was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 326.6% year over year since 2016.

In second place for improving export sales was fruits and nuts which rose 167.6% led by dried nuts.

Mongolian oil seeds posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 148.8%.

The leading decliner among the top 10 Mongolian export categories was wool via a -26.1% slowdown.


Overall Mongolia achieved a $2.1 billion product trade surplus for 2017, up from $1.6 billion during 2016.

The following types of Mongolian 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. Ores, slag, ash: US$2.2 billion (Up by 2.8% since 2016)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $1.6 billion (Up by 148.4%)
  3. Gems, precious metals: $650.8 million (Down by -14.4%)
  4. Wool: $188.8 million (Down by -27.6%)
  5. Copper: $98.6 million (Up by 34.1%)
  6. Fruits, nuts: $77 million (Up by 359.3%)
  7. Meat: $46.4 million (Reversing a -$3.5 million deficit)
  8. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $42.6 million (Up by 26.2%)
  9. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $15.7 million (Down by -8.5%)
  10. Miscellaneous animal-origin products: $12.1 million (Up by 18.9%)

Mongolia has highly positive net exports in the international trade of copper, iron and zinc ores and concentrates. In turn, these cashflows indicate Mongolia’s strong competitive advantages under the ores, slag and ash product category.


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

  1. Vehicles: -US$498 million (Up by 36.2% since 2016)
  2. Machinery including computers: -$494.8 million (Up by 57.8%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$292.4 million (Down by -1%)
  4. Articles of iron or steel: -$165 million (Up by 34.7%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: -$86 million (Up by 15.8%)
  6. Pharmaceuticals: -$83.4 million (Down by -8.1%)
  7. Iron, steel: -$67.8 million (Up by 35.2%)
  8. Rubber, rubber articles: -$61.9 million (Up by 12.2%)
  9. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$59.8 million (Up by 14.9%)
  10. Furniture, bedding, lighting , signs, prefab buildings: -$57.9 million (Down by -1.5%)

Mongolia has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the vehicles category, notably for cars, trucks then automotive parts or accessories ahead of tractors.


Mongolian Export Companies

Not one Mongolian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000 for 2017.

According to trade portal, the following are examples of Mongolian export companies. Major products for each business is shown within brackets.

  • Dornod Gazar LLC (acid-grade fluorspar)
  • Khaadin Ger LLC (customized huts, furniture)
  • Mogol Noos LLC (camel wool, yarn)
  • Monom Consulting LLC (carpets)
  • TESO LLC (non-dairy cream, noodles)
  • Uguuj Shim LLC (camel wool)
  • Wocom Group LLC (beef bone marrow)

Wikipedia also lists entities from Mongolia that are either directly involved in or related participants in international trade, including financial and transportation players. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Bank of Mongolia (central bank)
  • MIAT Mongolian Airlines (international airliner)
  • Tavan Bogd Group (business conglomerate)
  • UFC Group (food, beverages)


Mongolia’s capital city is Ulaanbaatar.

See also China’s Top 10 Exports, United Kingdom’s Top 10 Exports and Top Asian Export Countries

Research Sources:, Flag of Mongolia. Accessed on October 25, 2018

Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on October 25, 2018

Foreign Trade , United States Census Bureau. Accessed on October 25, 2018

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on October 25, 2018

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on October 25, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on October 25, 2018

The World Factbook, East & Southeast Asia: Mongolia. Accessed on October 25, 2018

Wikipedia, Mongolia. Accessed on October 25, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Mongolia. Accessed on October 25, 2018

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Accessed on October 25, 2018