Top EU Export Countries

Bridge in Dresden, Germany

Bridge in Dresden, Germany

From an international trade perspective, the United Kingdom appears to be on economically shaky grounds prior to its Article 50-based withdrawal from the European Union (EU) by March 29, 2019. In contrast, international trade for most EU nations continues on a business-as-usual basis.

Exports from the current 28 EU members totaled US$5.719 trillion for 2017. That dollar amount reflects a -4.7% decline since 2013 but a 9.5% year-over-year improvement from 2016.

EU sales of exported goods represent almost one-third (32.5%) of total world exports which amounted to $17.585 trillion during 2017. Latest trade statistics show that the global tally declined in value by -6.9% from 2013 to 2017 but appreciated by 9.5% since 2016.

Calculated using the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, the aggregate Gross Domestic Product on a Purchasing Power Parity basis for all EU countries amounted to an estimated $20.983 trillion for 2017. Therefore, exports accounted for about 28% of the EU’s total economic output.

Given the European Union’s population of about 516.2 million people according to metrics from the CIA World Factbook, the total $5.719 trillion in 2017 EU exports translates to approximately $11,000 for every person living in EU member countries.

As the following statistical table shows, Germany is by far the EU’s leading seller of exported products.

Top European Export Countries

Below are the top European export countries that attained the highest dollar value in worldwide product shipments during 2017. Also shown is each country’s overall share of the global export total.

RankExporter2017 Exports% EU TotalSince 2013
1Germany$1.450 trillion25.4%-0.1%
2France$523.4 billion9.2%-7.9%
3Netherlands$505.9 billion8.85%-11.4%
4Italy$503.1 billion8.80%-2.9%
5United Kingdom$442.1 billion7.7%-19.3%
6Belgium$430 billion7.5%-15.9%
7Spain$319.6 billion5.6%+2.8%
8Poland$221.3 billion3.9%+8.6%
9Czech Republic$180 billion3.1%+11.4%
10Austria$168 billion2.9%-4.1%
11Sweden$153.1 billion2.7%-8.6%
12Ireland$138.1 billion2.4%+16.6%
13Hungary$113.4 billion2%+5%
14Denmark$101.6 billion1.8%-8%
15Slovakia$84.5 billion1.5%-0.8%
16Romania$70.6 billion1.24%+7.2%
17Finland$67.3 billion1.18%-9.6%
18Portugal$62.2 billion1.09%-1%
19Greece$32.2 billion0.56%-11.3%
20Bulgaria$30.2 billion0.53%+2.3%
21Lithuania$29.3 billion0.51%-10%
22Slovenia$28.8 billion0.5%+0.5%
23Croatia$15.8 billion0.28%+23.8%
24Estonia$15.4 billion0.27%-16%
25Luxembourg$14 billion0.24%+1%
26Latvia$12.9 billion0.23%-3.2%
27Cyprus$3.4 billion0.06%+57.8%
28Malta$2.5 billion0.04%-31.1%

To sort, click the pertinent column heading in the above table.

Note: The top 10 exporters represent 82.9% of the total value of all EU international product sales during 2017.

From 2013 to 2017, eleven EU nations grew the value of their exports at the fastest pace led by Cyprus (up 57.8%), Croatia (up 23.8%), Ireland (up 16.6%), the Czech Republic (up 11.4%) then Poland (up 8.6%).

Leading the decliners were Malta (down -31.1%), the United Kingdom (down -19.3%), Estonia (down -16%), Belgium (down -15.9%), Greece (down -11.3%) then Lithuania (down -10%).

Perhaps the most notable decline in export sales over the latest 5-year period was the United Kingdom’s significant -19.3% drop. This metric gives Brexit critics a talking point to debate the UK’s departure from the EU.

See also European Union’s Top 10 Exports, Germany’s Top 10 Exports, UK’s Major EU Exports, and Top EU Import Countries

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports and World Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on July 25, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, Accessed on November 21, 2018

Wikipedia, List of European countries by population. Accessed on July 25, 2018

Wikipedia, Member State of the European Union. Accessed on July 25, 2018