Portugal’s Top 10 Imports

Portugal's Top 10 Imports Portuguese flag

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Located along southwestern Europe’s coastline, Portugal’s imported products were valued at US$88.6 billion in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 13% increase since 2014 and a 13.8% uptick from 2017 to 2018.

Portuguese imports represent 0.5% of total global imports which totaled an estimated $17.788 trillion one year earlier in 2017.

From a continental perspective, almost four-fifths (78.5%) of Portugal’s total imports by value in 2018 were purchased from fellow European countries. Asian trade partners supplied 12.2% of import purchases by Portugal. Smaller percentages came from Africa (4%), Latin America (2.6%) excluding Mexico and the Caribbean, North America (2.3%) then Oceania (0.1%) led by Australia.

Given Portugal’s population of 10.4 million people, its total $88.6 billion in 2018 imports translates to roughly $8,600 in yearly product demand from every person in the southwest European country.

Portugal’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Portugal’s import purchases during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Portugal.

At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Portugal’s most valuable imported products are crude oil followed by cars, automobile parts or accessories, medication mixes in dosage, petroleum gases, refined oils then mobile phones.

  1. Vehicles: US$10.9 billion (12.3% of total imports)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $10.6 billion (12%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $8.3 billion (9.3%)
  4. Electrical machinery, equipment: $7.4 billion (8.4%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: $4.2 billion (4.8%)
  6. Iron, steel: $3.1 billion (3.5%)
  7. Pharmaceuticals: $2.9 billion (3.3%)
  8. Fish: $2.3 billion (2.6%)
  9. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.8 billion (2%)
  10. Organic chemicals: $1.7 billion (2%)

Portugal’s top 10 imports accounted for three-fifths (60.1%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Imported organic chemicals posted the fastest growth in value among the top 10 import categories, up 35.9% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for Portugal’s improving import purchases were machinery including computers thanks to its 19.7% expansion. Portuguese imports of optical, technical and medical apparatus delivered the third-fastest gain, up 17.9% year over year. Close behind was the mineral fuels including oil category via its 17.6% increase propelled by petroleum oils and gas.

Fish was the laggard among the top 10 Portuguese imports, posting a still-respectable 9.5% increase.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.

Vehicles

In 2018, Portuguese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles.

  1. Cars: US$5.6 billion (up 12% from 2017)
  2. Automobile parts/accessories: $3.3 billion (up 20.9%)
  3. Trucks: $662.1 million (up 16%)
  4. Tractors: $522.1 million (up 2.9%)
  5. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $214.5 million (down -6.4%)
  6. Trailers: $172.3 million (up 27.3%)
  7. Motorcycles: $153 million (up 25.3%)
  8. Chassis fitted with engine: $77.5 million (up 12.4%)
  9. Public-transport vehicles: $73.6 million (up 40.4%)
  10. Special purpose vehicles: $43.5 million (up 15.8%)

Among these import subcategories, Portuguese purchases of public-transport vehicles (up 40.4%), trailers (up 27.3%) and motorcycles (up 25.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of vehicles-related imports among Portuguese businesses and consumers.

Fuel

In 2018, Portuguese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.

  1. Crude oil: US$6.5 billion (up 17.6% from 2017)
  2. Petroleum gases: $1.8 billion (up 20.3%)
  3. Processed petroleum oils: $1.5 billion (up 30.2%)
  4. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $398.7 million (down -15.3%)
  5. Electrical energy: $205.1 million (up 8.4%)
  6. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $94.3 million (up 25.7%)
  7. Petroleum oil residues: $91.3 million (up 0.6%)
  8. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $22.1 million (up 13%)
  9. Peat: $9.9 million (up 2.8%)
  10. Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $7 million (up 166.7%)

Among these import subcategories, Portuguese purchases of natural bitumen, asphalt and shale (up 166.7%), processed petroleum oils (up 30.2%) then high-temperature distilled coal tar oils (up 25.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of mineral fuels-related imports among Portuguese businesses and consumers.

Machinery

In 2018, Portuguese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.

  1. Computers, optical readers: US$831.1 million (up 14.8% from 2017)
  2. Turbo-jets: $410.8 million (up 61%)
  3. Miscellaneous machinery: $401.7 million (up 42.4%)
  4. Engines (diesel): $392.7 million (up 20.5%)
  5. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $389.7 million (up 10.5%)
  6. Piston engines: $358.4 million (up 186%)
  7. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $288.5 million (up 53%)
  8. Refrigerators, freezers: $275.8 million (up 19.9%)
  9. Air conditioners: $274.9 million (up 19.5%)
  10. Printing machinery: $268.8 million (up 3%)

Among these import subcategories, Portuguese purchases of piston engines (up 186%), turbo-jets (up 61%) and centrifuges, filters and purifiers (up 53%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of machinery-related imports among Portuguese businesses and consumers.

Electronics

In 2018, Portuguese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electrical goods including consumer electronics.

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: US$1.2 billion (up 8.9% from 2017)
  2. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $895.2 million (up 17.8%)
  3. TV/radio/radar device parts: $612.9 million (up 5.4%)
  4. Insulated wire/cable: $526.9 million (up 24.7%)
  5. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $433 million (up 20.9%)
  6. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $415.5 million (up 25.2%)
  7. Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $303.1 million (up 11.5%)
  8. Electrical converters/power units: $259.5 million (up 22.2%)
  9. Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches: $206.5 million (up 20.5%)
  10. Electric motors, generators: $189.4 million (up 33.4%)

Among these import subcategories, Portuguese purchases of electric motors and generators (up 33.4%), TV receivers, monitors or projectors (up 25.2%) and insulated wire or cable (up 24.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of electronics-related imports among Portuguese businesses and consumers.



 

See also Portugal’s Top Trading Partners and Portugal’s Top 10 Exports

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 20, 2019

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 20, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 20, 2019