Nicknamed Polonia (Land of the Fields), the Republic of Poland shipped US$260.7 billion worth of products around the globe in 2018. That dollar figure represents roughly 1.5% of overall global exports estimated at $17.546 trillion one year earlier.
Applying a continental lens, 88.8% of Polish exports by value were sent to fellow European countries.
Smaller percentages were delivered to Asia (5.3%), North America (3.6%), Africa (1.1%), Latin America (0.7%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania (0.3%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Poland’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Poland’s top trading partners in terms of exports sales. These are countries that imported the most Polish shipments by dollar value during 2018. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Polish exports.
- Germany: US$73.4 billion (28.2% of Poland’s total exports)
- Czech Republic: $16.6 billion (6.4%)
- United Kingdom: $16.1 billion (6.2%)
- France: $14.4 billion (5.5%)
- Italy: $12 billion (4.6%)
- Netherlands: $11.8 billion (4.5%)
- Russia: $8 billion (3.1%)
- United States: $7.3 billion (2.8%)
- Sweden: $7.2 billion (2.8%)
- Hungary: $7 billion (2.7%)
- Slovakia: $6.7 billion (2.6%)
- Spain: $6.6 billion (2.5%)
- Belgium: $6.1 billion (2.3%)
- Romania: $5.3 billion (2.1%)
- Ukraine: $5.2 billion (2%)
Over three-quarters (78.1%) of Polish exports in 2018 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Among Poland’s top importers, Romania increased its purchases from Poland by the highest percentage from 2017 to 2018 thanks to a 30.9% gain.
Close behind in second place was Belgium (up 26.7%) trailed by the Netherlands (up 22.9%), Slovakia (up 22.5%) then Germany (up 21.9%).
Poland posted an overall -$5.9 billion trade deficit in 2018, reversing the $3.3 billion in black 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.
Poland incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:
- China: -US$18.7 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2018)
- Russia: -$11.2 billion
- Belgium: -$3.8 billion
- South Korea: -$3.1 billion
- Netherlands: -$2.9 billion
- Kazakhstan: -$1.6 billion
- Italy: -$1.4 billion
- Japan: -$959.2 million
- Taiwan: -$899 million
- Vietnam: -$880.2 million
Among Poland’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Polish deficits with Italy (up 2,341%), Belgium (up 461.5%) then Kazakhstan (up 264.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018. In addition, Poland went from a $1.5 billion surplus trading with the Netherlands in 2017 to a -$2.9 billion deficit for 2018.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Poland’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Poland to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
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.
Poland earned the highest trade surpluses at the expense of the following countries.
- United Kingdom: US$9.3 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2018)
- Czech Republic: $6 billion
- France: $3.9 billion
- Romania: $3.1 billion
- Ukraine: $2.3 billion
- Hungary: $2 billion
- United States: $1.9 billion
- Lithuania: $1.5 billion
- Denmark: $1.3 billion
- Norway: $1.2 billion
Among Poland’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Polish surpluses with Norway (up 384.6%), Romania (up 46.9%) and Lithuania (up 7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018. In addition, Poland’s trade with the United States reversed a -$317.8 million deficit in 2017 to post a $1.9 billion surplus for 2018.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Poland’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Poland to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Polish Trading Partners
Seven corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Polish companies that Forbes included:
- KGHM Polska Miedz (diversified metals, mining)
- Pgnig Group (oil, gas)
- PKN Orlen (oil, gas)
According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following companies are examples of export companies located in Poland. Shown within parenthesis is the product category that the Polish business specializes in.
- Ambra SA (sparking wines)
- BIP SP (diesel heaters)
- EWAX SC (undershirts, knitwear)
- GENATA SP (laundry detergent)
- POLSKA GRUPA MEBLOWA FURINI (furniture)
- PPHU BIURO-DRUK Fialkowska Aurelia (leather cases)
- STRAIGHTLINE TRADE LIMITED SP (water purification equipment)
- TOMASZ RONATOWICZ TOP SOCZEWKI (watches)
- Zbyszko Company SP (sparkling water)
See also Poland’s Top 10 Imports, Poland’s Top 10 Exports and Top EU Export Countries
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 22, 2019
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 22, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 22, 2019
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 28, 2019
Alibaba Supplier information for Poland. Accessed on November 23, 2015