Portugal’s Top Trading Partners

Portugal's Top Trading Partners

by Flagpictures.org

Formally the Portuguese Republic, Portugal shipped US$68.7 billion worth of products around the globe in 2018. That figure represents roughly 0.4% of overall global exports estimated at $17.546 trillion one year prior in 2017.

Over three-quarters (77.1%) of Portuguese exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries.

Smaller percentages were sold to international clients in Africa (6.9%), North America (6.1%), Asia (4.9%), Latin America (2.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean then Oceania (0.4%) led by Australia.

Portugal’s Top Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing 15 of Portugal’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Portuguese shipments by dollar value during 2018. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Portuguese exports.

  1. Spain: US$17.4 billion (25.3% of total Portuguese exports)
  2. France: $8.7 billion (12.7%)
  3. Germany: $7.9 billion (11.5%)
  4. United Kingdom: $4.3 billion (6.3%)
  5. United States: $3.4 billion (5%)
  6. Italy: $2.9 billion (4.3%)
  7. Netherlands: $2.6 billion (3.8%)
  8. Angola: $1.8 billion (2.6%)
  9. Belgium: $1.6 billion (2.3%)
  10. Brazil: $957.5 million (1.4%)
  11. Poland: $897.2 million (1.3%)
  12. Morocco: $819.4 million (1.2%)
  13. China: $777.6 million (1.1%)
  14. Sweden: $686.8 million (1%)
  15. Switzerland: $681.6 million (1%)

Over four-fifths (80.9%) of Portuguese exports in 2018 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Italy garnered the fastest-increase buying Portugal’s exports up 32.6% from 2017 to 2018, followed by Poland’s 26.1% gain. Other double-digit improvements in consuming Portuguese shipments belong to Sweden (up 21.6%), France (up 11.8%), Germany (up 11.7%) and Spain (up 10.7%).

Deficits

Overall Portugal posted a trade deficit equaling -$20.1 billion for 2018, up 28.6% from -$15.7 billion 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.

Portugal incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:

  1. Spain: -US$10.5 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2018)
  2. Germany: -$4.4 billion
  3. China: -$2 billion
  4. Netherlands: -$2 billion
  5. Italy: -$1.8 billion
  6. Russian Federation: -$1.3 billion
  7. Belgium: -$983.6 million
  8. Kazakhstan: -$902.8 million
  9. Azerbaijan: -$870.1 million
  10. Saudi Arabia: -$726.9 million

Among Portugal’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Portuguese deficits with Kazakhstan (up 59.5%), China (up 46.3%) and Saudi Arabia (up 43.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Portugal’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Portugal to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

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.

Portugal incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:

  1. United Kingdom: US$2.1 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2018)
  2. France: $1.9 billion
  3. United States: $1.8 billion
  4. Angola: $696.6 million
  5. Morocco: $628.3 million
  6. Switzerland: $327.7 million
  7. Cabo Verde: $283.4 million
  8. Tunisia: $221.4 million
  9. Romania: $218.9 million
  10. Mexico: $186.9 million

Among Portugal’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Portuguese surpluses expanded with Mexico (up 17.8%), United Kingdom (up 4.2%) and Tunisia (up 0.1%) from 2017 to 2018.

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Portugal’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Portugal to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Companies Servicing Portuguese Trading Partners

According to Forbes Global 2000 rankings, the following companies are examples of leading Portuguese companies:

  • Banco Comercial Portugues (regional banks)
  • EDP-Energias de Portugal (electric utilities)
  • Galp Energia (oil, gas)
  • Jeronimo Martins (food retailer)
  • Portugal Telecom (telecommunications services)

The Russian-Portuguese Business Club lists Portugal’s biggest employers involved in international trade:

  • Delphi Automotive (automotive parts)
  • Petrogal (oil, gas)
  • Philip Morris International (tobacco)
  • Portucel Soporcel (paper)
  • Volkswagen Autoeuropa (automobiles)


 

See also Portugal’s Top 10 Exports, Portugal’s Top 10 Imports and Capital Facts for Lisbon, Portugal

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 20, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on June 29, 2019

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on February 20, 2019

Russian-Portuguese Business Club, Top 10 Portuguese companies – the largest exporters and importers. Accessed on March 1, 2016

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 1, 2016