Worldwide, exports of sunglasses by country totaled US$7.1 billion in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 13.2% increase for all shippers of sunglasses over the five-year period starting in 2014. Year over year, the value of exported sunglasses fell by -0.8% from 2017 to 2018.
Among continents, Europe sold the highest dollar worth of exported sunglasses during 2018 with shipments valued at $3.9 billion or over half (55.6%) of globally exported sunglasses. In second place were sunglasses exporters in Asia at 37.9% while 5.9% of worldwide sunglasses shipments originated from North America. Smaller percentages came from Oceania (0.3%) led by Australia, Latin America (0.2%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Africa (0.1%).
For research purposes, the 6-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for sunglasses is 900410.
Top Sunglasses Exporters by Country
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of sunglasses during 2018.
- Italy: US$2.8 billion (39.9% of total exported sunglasses)
- China: $1.6 billion (22.4%)
- Hong Kong: $782.6 million (11%)
- United States: $398.9 million (5.6%)
- Germany: $228.4 million (3.2%)
- France: $224.5 million (3.2%)
- Netherlands: $174.5 million (2.5%)
- Japan: $124.8 million (1.8%)
- United Kingdom: $96.2 million (1.4%)
- Taiwan: $88 million (1.2%)
- Spain: $77 million (1.1%)
- Switzerland: $40.9 million (0.6%)
- Czech Republic: $37.2 million (0.5%)
- Belgium: $37.2 million (0.5%)
- Austria: $33.5 million (0.5%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 95.3% of all exported sunglasses in 2018.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing sunglasses exporters since 2014 were: Belgium (up 76.8%), Hong Kong (up 73%), Netherlands (up 72.4%) and Spain (up 51.9%).
Five countries posted declines in their exported sunglasses sales namely: United Kingdom (down -28.6%), Austria (down -23.1%), Switzerland (down -12.7%), Taiwan (down -9%) and United States (down -2%).
Listed below are the countries that posted positive net exports in the international trade of sunglasses during 2018. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported sunglasses and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- Italy: US$2.3 billion (net export surplus up 7.1% since 2014)
- China: $1.2 billion (up 1.5%)
- Taiwan: $63.6 million (down -10.6%)
- Slovenia: $7.5 million (down -41.7%)
- Mauritius: $550,000 (down -77.2%)
- Western Sahara: $9,000 (no 2014 data)
Sunglasses export leader Italy has the highest surplus in the international trade of sunglasses. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms Italy’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for sunglasses during 2018. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported sunglasses purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
- United States: -US$1.3 billion (net export deficit up 12.2% since 2014)
- United Kingdom: -$252.4 million (up 61.1%)
- France: -$215.8 million (up 10.2%)
- South Korea: -$166.9 million (down -2.6%)
- Spain: -$166.9 million (down -12.5%)
- Canada: -$166 million (up 14%)
- Germany: -$112.9 million (down -6.7%)
- Australia: -$105.3 million (down -20.9%)
- Mexico: -$98.5 million (up 26.2%)
- Turkey: -$90.9 million (down -24.3%)
- United Arab Emirates: -$80.9 million (down -35.4%)
- Switzerland: -$64.5 million (up 30.6%)
- Japan: -$64.1 million (up 12.7%)
- India: -$63.3 million (up 17.1%)
- Brazil: -$62.7 million (down -47.3%)
By far, the United States incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of sunglasses. This billion-dollar negative cashflow highlights America’s strong competitive disadvantages for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for sunglasses-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful US consumer demand.
Sunglasses Exporting Companies
According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following suppliers are examples of sunglasses-trading exporters.
- Celeb Eyewear (United States)
- ISP Professional Limited (Hong Kong)
- Jie Hao Enterprise Ltd (Taiwan)
- Kachi Global Pte Ltd (Singapore)
- Kost International BV (Netherlands)
- La Giardiniera-SRL (Italy)
- Linhai Tangtian Trade Co, Ltd (China)
- Seiko Industry Co, Ltd (Japan)
The home-country location for each business is shown within parentheses.
See also Top Exporters of Wigs, Beards and Eyelashes, Beauty Cosmetics and Skincare Exports by Country and Perfumes Exporters by Country
Alibaba, Supplier showroom for sunglasses. Accessed on September 12, 2018
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 6, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 6, 2019
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on June 6, 2019
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 6, 2019
Wikipedia, Sunglasses. Accessed on September 12, 2018