Romania exported US$76.9 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 26.8% increase since 2015 but a -3.5% drop from 2018 to 2019.
Applying a continental lens, 84.2% of Romania’s exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 8.7% were sold to importers in Asia.
Smaller percentages went to Africa (3.4%), North America (2.4%), Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (0.5%) then Oceania led by Australia and New Zealand (0.1%).
Romania’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Romania’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Romanian shipments by dollar value during 2019. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Romanian exports.
- Germany: US$17.3 billion (22.5% of Romania’s total exports)
- Italy: $8.6 billion (11.2%)
- France: $5.3 billion (6.9%)
- Hungary: $3.7 billion (4.8%)
- United Kingdom: $2.9 billion (3.8%)
- Poland: $2.7 billion (3.5%)
- Bulgaria: $2.7 billion (3.5%)
- Turkey: $2.4 billion (3.2%)
- Czech Republic: $2.4 billion (3.2%)
- Netherlands: $2.4 billion (3.1%)
- Spain: $2.3 billion (3.1%)
- Austria: $1.7 billion (2.2%)
- Slovakia: $1.6 billion (2.1%)
- Belgium: $1.4 billion (1.8%)
- Moldova: $1.4 billion (1.8%)
Over three-quarters (76.6%) of Romanian exports in 2019 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
The fastest increases from 2018 to 2019 in consuming exported goods from Romania belong to the Netherlands (up 13.7%), Slovakia (up 8.8%), Poland (up 7.3%) and Turkey (up 6.8%).
The severest decliners year over year were the United Kingdom (down -14.8%) and Austria (down -7.1%).
Overall, Romania incurred a -$19.7 billion trade deficit during 2019, up 7.9% from the -$18.2 billion in red 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.
Romania incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- China: -US$4.4 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2019)
- Hungary: -$3.1 billion
- Poland: -$3 billion
- Russia: -$2.3 billion
- Germany: -$2.1 billion
- Turkey: -$1.8 billion
- Kazakhstan: -$1.8 billion
- Netherlands: -$1.5 billion
- Austria: -$1.3 billion
- Belgium: -$921.2 million
Among Romania’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Romanian deficits with Germany (up 35.8%), Kazakhstan (up 17.1%) and Hungary (up 9.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Romania’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Romania 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.
Romania incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- United Kingdom: US$1 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2019)
- Egypt: $648.6 million
- France: $585.1 million
- Moldova: $544.7 million
- United States: $495.2 million
- Morocco: $429.8 million
- Norway: $373.7 million
- Israel: $338.7 million
- Lebanon: $301.1 million
- Algeria: $268.2 million
Among Romania’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Romanian surpluses with Israel (up 46.5%), United States (up 17.7%) and Moldova (up 13.9%) grew from 2018 to 2019.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Romania’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Romania to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Romanian Trading Partners
Not one Romanian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists Romanian companies engaged in international trade. Selected examples are shown below.
- Antibiotice Iași (pharmaceuticals)
- Arctic S.A. (household appliances)
- Automobile Dacia (cars)
- Daewoo-Mangalia Heavy Industries DMHI (ships)
- European Drinks & Foods (food, beverages)
- Farmec (cosmetics, personal hygiene)
- Jolidon (lingerie, swimsuits)
- Roman (trucks, buses)
- Romstal (sanitary wear)
- Tehnoton (home electronics, machinery)
See also Romania’s Top 10 Exports and Top EU Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Europe: Romania. Accessed on March 26, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 26, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 26, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 26, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 26, 2020
Wikipedia, Romania. Accessed on March 26, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Romania. Accessed on March 26, 2020