That dollar amount reflects a 49.7% increase from $2.9 billion in 2018.
Over the most recent annual period, Albania’s revenues from exported products accelerated by 20.9% in 2022 compared to $3.56 billion for 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the Albanian lek diluted by -4.7% against the US dollar since 2018 and fell by -9.2% from 2021 to 2022. Albania’s weaker local currency made Albanian exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Albania’s Major Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data shows that 93% of products exported from Albania were bought by importers in: Italy (49.5% of the Albanian total), Serbia (10.2%), Montenegro (7.9%), Greece (6.8%), North Macedonia (5.5%), Spain (4.4%), Germany (2.6%), Türkiye (1.7%), Croatia (1.14%), Slovakia (1.13%), Malta (1.07%) and Bulgaria (1%).
From a continental perspective, 97.1% of Albania’s exports by value was delivered to fellow European countries while 2.2% was sold to importers in Asia.
Tinier percentages went to buyers in Africa (0.4%), North America (0.2%), Latin America (0.06%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania’s Australia, New Zealand and French Polynesia (0.01%).
Given Albania’s population of 2.866 million people, its total $4.32 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $1,500 for every resident in the Southeast European country. That dollar metric exceeds the average $1,140 per capita one year earlier during 2021.
Albania’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Albanian global shipments during 2022, at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Albania.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$733.2 million (17% of total exports)
- Footwear: $570.3 million (13.2%)
- Iron, steel: $552.2 million (12.8%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $300.8 million (7%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $271.3 million (6.3%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $247.8 million (5.8%)
- Aluminum: $154.5 million (3.6%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $144.5 million (3.4%)
- Vegetables: $99.3 million (2.3%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $90.8 million (2.1%)
Albania’s top 10 exports accounted for almost three-quarters (73.5%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Ores, slag and ash was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 54.2% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was mineral fuels including oil via a 50.6% advance, led by electrical energy, refined petroleum oils, and petroleum gas.
Albania’s shipments of articles made from iron or steel posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 41.5%.
The most modest gain among Albania’s top 10 export categories was unknitted and non-crocheted clothing and accessories via a 2.9% year-over-year improvement.
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, iron ferroalloys represent Albania’s most valuable exported product totaling an estimated 61.7% of Albania’s total. In second place was leather footwear (9.2%) trailed by unknitted and non-crocheted men’s shirts (3.5%), cucumbers (2.5%), electrical energy (2.5%), medicinal plants (also 2.5%), iron and steel insulated stranded wire or cable (2.2%), miscellaneous vegetables (2%), processed petroleum oils (also 2%), then miscellaneous furniture (1.7%).
Products Generating Albania’s Best Trade Surpluses
The following types of Albanian 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 represent 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.
- Footwear: US$430.8 million (Up by 20.5% since 2021)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $152.4 million (Up by 7.1%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $144.2 million (Up by 54.1%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $85.7 million (Up by 21.4%)
- Vegetables: $70.6 million (Up by 16.3%)
- Meat/seafood preparations: $39.4 million (Down by -19.7%)
- Oil seeds: $37.2 million (Down by -0.3%)
- Iron, steel: $23.3 million (Up by 117.8%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $12.7 million (Down by -72.5%)
- Copper: $9.9 million (Down by -25%)
Albania has highly positive net exports in the international trade of footwear. In turn, these cashflows indicate Albania’s strong competitive advantages under the footwear product category.
Products Causing Albania’s Worst Trade Deficits
Overall Albania incurred an estimated -US$4.1 billion product trade deficit for 2022, declining by -1.7% from -$4.17 billion in red ink one year earlier for 2021.
Below are exports from Albania that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Albania’s goods trail Albanian importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$724.5 million (Up by 49.2% since 2021)
- Machinery including computers: -$503.2 million (Down by -0.4%)
- Vehicles: -$444.8 million (Down by -13.2%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$307.8 million (Down by -6.5%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$251.2 million (Down by -8.2%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$245.3 million (Down by -18.6%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: -$148.5 million (Up by 0.9%)
- Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: -$118.5 million (Up by 1.1%)
- Cereals: -$103.9 million (Down by -10.8%)
- Paper, paper items: -$87.4 million (Up by 14.2%)
Albania has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the mineral fuels-related product category, notably for refined petroleum oils.
Albanian Export Companies
Not one Albanian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists some exports-related companies from Albania. Selected examples are shown below.
- AlbChrome (chrome, ferrochrome)
- Albpetrol (oil, gas)
- Antea Cement (cement)
- Birra Tirana (beer)
- Birra Korça (beer)
- Military Export Import Company MEICO (military equipment)
- Taçi Oil (oil, gas)
In macroeconomic terms, Albania’s total exported goods represent 8.4% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($51.24 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 8.4% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 7.1% for 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Albania’s total economic performance, albeit based on short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Albania’s unemployment rate averaged 11.1% for 2022, down from an average 11.4% in 2021 according to metrics from the International Monetary Fund.
Albania’s capital city is Tirana.
See also Italy’s Top Trading Partners, Serbia’s Top 10 Exports, Montenegro’s Top 10 Exports, Italy’s Top 10 Exports and Top EU Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Europe: Albania. Accessed on September 3, 2023
FlagPictures.org, Flag of Albania. Accessed on September 3, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 3, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (Domestic Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on September 3, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity) . Accessed on September 3, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 3, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 3, 2023
Wikipedia, Albania. Accessed on September 3, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on September 3, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Albania. Accessed on September 3, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on September 3, 2023