Located in the East Mediterranean Sea south of Syria, Turkey and Lebanon, exports from the third-largest and third-most populous Mediterranean island country the Republic of Cyprus totaled US$5 billion in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 158.6% increase since 2014 and a 47.7% uptick from 2017 to 2018.
From a continental perspective, over 40% of exported goods from Cyprus were sold to fellow European countries. Roughly 20% were delivered to importers in Africa with approximately 18% going to Asia.
Given the Cypriot population of 1.24 million people, its total $5 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $4,000 for every resident in the island country.
In macroeconomic terms, Cyprus’ total exported goods represent 14.3% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($34.5 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 14.3% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2018 compares to 17.7% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Cyprus’ total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that Cyprus also provided $11.9 billion worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 34.5% of GDP in PPP. These metrics include a significant amount of re-exporting activity.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Cyprus’ unemployment rate was 6.5% at May 2019 down from 8.3% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.
Top 10 Exports from Cyprus
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Cypriot global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Cyprus.
- Ships, boats: US$1.8 billion (35.2% of total exports)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $1.2 billion (24%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $351.7 million (7.1%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $293.3 million (5.9%)
- Dairy, eggs, honey: $236.5 million (4.8%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $177.8 million (3.6%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: $164.9 million (3.3%)
- Machinery including computers: $137.2 million (2.8%)
- Organic chemicals: $59.3 million (1.2%)
- Vegetables: $52.6 million (1.1%)
The top 10 exports from Cyprus accounted for 88.8% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Articles made from iron or steel was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, thanks to its 358.7% rise from 2017 to 2018.
In second place for improving export sales was the capital-intensive category ships and boats, which appreciated 64.8%.
Mineral fuels including posted the third-fastest gain via its 64.8% gain, ahead of the 53% uptick for the aircraft and spacecraft category.
There were two decliners year over year, vegetables exported from Cyprus (down -9.6%) and machinery including computers (down -7.2%).
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, the most valuable exported products from Cyprus are refined petroleum oils (16.7% of total) trailed by pleasure or sports vessels including yachts (15.8%), cruise or cargo ships and barges (12.7%), medication mixes in dosage (6.9%), warships including lifeboats (5.5%), cheese (4.7%) and mobile phones (3.7%).
The following types of Cypriot product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.
In a nutshell, net exports reflect the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.
- Dairy, eggs, honey: US$134.1 million (Up by 39.6% since 2017)
- Pharmaceuticals: $74 million (Down by -0.7%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: $57.2 million (Down by -152.9%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $17.5 million (Down by -6%)
- Vegetables: $11 million (Down by -56.7%)
- Woodpulp: $5.2 million (Down by -21%)
- Copper: $4.3 million (Down by -51.2%)
- Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $4.2 million (Up by 6.3%)
- Miscellaneous animal-origin products: $1.4 million (Up by 202.1%)
- Lead: $1.1 million (Up by 179%)
Cyprus has highly positive net exports in the international trade under the dairy, eggs and honey category. In turn, these cashflows indicate Cyprus’s strong competitive advantages under that agricultural products category.
Cyprus incurred an overall -$5.7 billion trade deficit during 2018, down -3.2% from the -$5.9 billion in red ink one year earlier.
Below are exports from Cyprus that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country goods trail Cypriot importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$1 billion (Up by 13.6% since 2017)
- Vehicles: -$739.2 million (Up by 17.5%)
- Ships, boats: -$499.6 million (Down by -56.7%)
- Machinery including computers: -$384.2 million (Up by 19.9%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$193.1 million (Up by 17.3%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$167 million (Down by -10.7%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: -$163.2 million (Up by 13.2%)
- Iron, steel: -$144.3 million (Up by 46.4%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: -$137.9 million (Up by 21%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): -$136.7 million (Up by 3.3%)
Cyprus has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits, notably for refined petroleum oils and high temperature coal tar products under the mineral fuels including oil category.
Cypriot Export Companies
Not one Cypriot corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists exporters from Cyprus. Selected examples are shown below:
- ASBIS (computer hardware/software, mobile gadgets)
- Cyprus Wine Coverage-KEO (alcoholic beverages, juices, bottle water)
- Francoudi & Stephanou (trading conglomerate, shipping, alcohol)
- Leon Beer (brewery)
- Petrolina (oil, gas)
Nicosia is the capital city of Cyprus.
See also Cyprus Top Trading Partners, Top EU Export Countries and Top EU Import Countries
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 25, 2019
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on July 3, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 25, 2019
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on July 3, 2019
Wikipedia, Cyprus. Accessed on March 25, 2019
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on July 3, 2019
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Cyprus. Accessed on March 25, 2019
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on July 3, 2019