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 its leading trading partners including China to the west and Japan to the east.

North Korea shipped US$2.9 billion worth of products around the globe in 2016.

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 2016. Also shown is each import country’s percentage share of total exports from North Korea.

  1. China: US$2.6 billion (90% of total North Korean exports)
  2. India: $87.4 million (3.1%)
  3. Philippines: $51.8 million (1.8%)
  4. Taiwan: $12.2 million (0.4%)
  5. France: $11.4 million (0.4%)
  6. Mozambique: $10.9 million (0.4%)
  7. Russia: $8.8 million (0.3%)
  8. Brazil: $8.7 million (0.3%)
  9. Burkina Faso: $7.4 million (0.3%)
  10. Mexico: $6.7 million (0.2%)
  11. Germany: $6.5 million (0.2%)
  12. Turkey: $6.3 million (0.2%)
  13. Saudi Arabia: $6.1 million (0.2%)
  14. Egypt: $4.8 million (0.2%)
  15. Chile: $4.4 million (0.2%)


 
During 2016, 98.2% of North Korean shipments were delivered to the above top trading partners.

The fastest-growing importers purchasing North Korea’s products from 2009 to 2016 were: Burkina Faso (up 15,065%), Mozambique (up 1,273%), India (up 1,237%) and Chile (up 513.2%).

Brazil proved to be a less-vibrant destination for North Korean exports, with the value of Brazilian imports from North Korea falling in value by -90.9%. Similarly North Korean exports significantly depreciated to: Saudi Arabia (down -88%), Germany (down -87.6%) and Egypt (down -83.1%).

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 April 28, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on April 28, 2017