North Korea’s Top Trading Partners

North Korean flag (Wikimedia Commons)

Wikimedia Commons

Officially named the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, North Korea is strategically located on the north part of the Korean Peninsula near leading trading partners including China to its west and Japan to the east.

North Korea shipped US$1.844 billion worth of products around the globe in 2017.

North Korea’s Top Trading Partners

Below is a list of North Korea’s top 15 trading partners that imported the most North Korean shipments by dollar value during 2017. Also shown is each import country’s percentage share of total exports from North Korea.

  1. China: US$1.7 billion (90.8% of total North Korean exports)
  2. Pakistan: $29.2 million (1.6%)
  3. India: $26.1 million (1.4%)
  4. France: $12.4 million (0.7%)
  5. Sri Lanka: $9.7 million (0.5%)
  6. Saudi Arabia: $8.1 million (0.4%)
  7. Mexico: $6.1 million (0.3%)
  8. Philippines: $6.07 million (0.3%)
  9. Mozambique: $5.9 million (0.3%)
  10. Ethiopia: $5.2 million (0.3%)
  11. Malaysia: $4.8 million (0.3%)
  12. Nigeria: $4.4 million (0.2%)
  13. Suriname: $4.1 million (0.2%)
  14. Brazil: $3.8 million (0.2%)
  15. Russia: $3.7 million (0.2%)


 
During 2017, 97.8% of North Korean shipments were delivered to the above top trading partners.

The fastest-growing importers purchasing goods from North Korea from 2016 to 2017 were: Malaysia (up 141%), Saudi Arabia (up 32%), Ethiopia (up 28.8%), and Suriname (up 19.9%)–a sovereign state off South America’s northeastern coast.

Leading the decliners were: the Philippines (down -88.3%), India (down -70.2%), Nigeria (down -61.2%), Russia (down -56%) and Brazil (down -56%).

See also North Korea’s Top 10 Exports, Highest Value North Korean Export Products and Capital Facts for Pyongyang, North Korea

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on June 13, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on June 13, 2018