Top EU Export Countries

Bridge in Dresden, Germany

Bridge in Dresden, Germany

While the United Kingdom appears to be on track for an Article 50-based withdrawal from the European Union by March 29, 2019, international trade for all European nations continues on a business-as-usual basis.

Exports from the current 28 members of the European Union totaled US$5.227 trillion for 2016. That amount represents a -8.2% decline since 2012 and a modest -1% year-over-year retreat from 2015 to 2016.

European Union exports represent about one third (32.8%) of total world exports which amounted to $15.913 trillion in 2016. The latest export statistics (as of article publication date) show that the overall tally for global exports declined in value by -13.3% from 2012 to 2016 and dropped by -3% from 2015 to 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 $20.008 trillion for 2016. Therefore, exports accounted for about 26.1% of the EU’s total economic output.

Given the European Union’s population of about 515.1 million people according to metrics from the CIA World Factbook, the total $5.355 trillion in 2016 EU exports translates to approximately $10,150 for every person living in EU member countries.

As the following statistical table bears witness, Germany is by far the EU’s dominant player in international trade.

Top European Union Export Countries

Below are the top EU member exporters that attained the highest dollar value in global shipments during 2016. Also shown is each country’s overall share of EU exports and the change in value since 2012.

RankExporter2016 Exports% EU TotalSince 2012
1Germany$1.341 trillion25.6%-4.9%
2France$488.9 billion9.4%-12.5%
3Italy$461.5 billion8.8%-8%
4Netherlands$444.9 billion8.5%-19.5%
5United Kingdom$411.5 billion7.9%-14.5%
6Belgium$398.0 billion7.6%-10.9%
7Spain$281.8 billion5.4%-1.5%
8Poland$196.5 billion3.8%+9.4%
9Czech Republic$161.2 billion3.1%+3.1%
10Austria$152.2 billion2.9%-8.7%
11Sweden$139.6 billion2.7%-19%
12Ireland$129.3 billion2.5%+9.8%
13Hungary$103.1 billion2%+0.1%
14Denmark$94.4 billion1.8%-11.1%
15Slovakia$77.6 billion1.5%-2.9%
16Romania$63.6 billion1.2%+9.8%
17Finland$57.3 billion1.1%-21.4%
18Portugal$55.7 billion1.1%-4.2%
19Slovenia$32.9 billion0.6%+2.2%
20Greece$27.8 billion0.5%-20.9%
21Bulgaria$26.1 billion0.5%-2.3%
22Lithuania$25 billion0.5%-15.6%
23Estonia$14 billion0.3%-23.1%
24Croatia$13.6 billion0.3%+10.3%
25Luxembourg$12.8 billion0.2%-6.5%
26Latvia$11.4 billion0.2%-9.9%
27Malta$4 billion0.1%-28.5%
28Cyprus$1.9 billion0.04%+5.2%

The top 10 exporters represent 83.4% of the total value of all EU shipments during 2016.

EU nations that grew the value of their exports from 2012 to 2016 were led by Croatia (up 10.3%), Ireland (up 9.8%), Romania (up 9.8%), Poland (up 9.4%) and Cyprus (up 5.2%).

Decliners ranged from -28.5% for Malta, -23.1% for Estonia, -21.4% for Finland, -20.9% for Greece, -19.5% for Netherlands, -19% for Sweden and -15.6% for Lithuania.

Export sales from the United Kingdom to the rest of the world depreciated by -14.5% over the 5-year period starting in 2012. This fact gives some Brexit advocates at least one talking point to support UK’s imminent departure from the EU.

See also Highest Value German Export Products, Netherlands Top 10 Exports, Canada’s Trade Report Card: EU Countries and Top EU Import Countries

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports and World Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on December 2, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, Accessed on December 2, 2017

Wikipedia, List of European countries by population. Accessed on December 2, 2017

Wikipedia, Member State of the European Union. Accessed on December 2, 2017