Based on the average exchange rate for 2019, the Armenian dram depreciated by -0.5% against the US dollar since 2015 but appreciated slightly by 0.5% from 2018 to 2019. Armenia’s weaker local currency since 2018 makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively slightly more expensive for international buyers in 2019.
The latest available country-specific data shows that 88% of products exported from Armenia were bought by importers in: Russia (27.2% of the global total), Switzerland (17.5%), Bulgaria (7.9%), China (7.4%), Iraq (6.8%), Netherlands (5.9%), Iran (3.2%), Germany (2.7%), Georgia (2.5%), Canada (2.3%), Italy (also 2.3%) and United Arab Emirates (2.2%).
From a continental perspective, 68.8% of Armenia exports by value were delivered to European countries while 26.4% were sold to importers in Asia. Armenia shipped another 4.4% worth of goods to North America. Tinier percentages went to Africa (0.05%), Latin America (0.02%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.004%) led by Australia.
Given Armenia’s population of 3 million people, its total $2.6 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $900 for every resident in the Western Asian country.
Armenia’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Armenian global shipments during 2019 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 Armenia.
- Ores, slag, ash: US$665.1 million (25.5% of total exports)
- Gems, precious metals: $414 million (15.9%)
- Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $290.5 million (11.1%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $290.2 million (11.1%)
- Iron, steel: $149.7 million (5.7%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $124.2 million (4.8%)
- Aluminum: $99.6 million (3.8%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $68.9 million (2.6%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $55.7 million (2.1%)
- Clocks, watches including parts: $40.3 million (1.5%)
Armenia ’s top 10 exports accounted for 84.2% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Optical, technical and medical apparatus represents the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 188.3% from 2018 to 2019. In second place for improving export sales was gems and precious metals via a 34.7% gain, led by gold and precious metals scrap. Armenia’s shipments of beverages, spirits and vinegar posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 26.4%.
The leading decliner among Armenia’s top 10 export categories was unknit and non-crocheted clothing and accessories thanks to a -21.2% drop year over year.
From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, copper ores and concentrates represent Armenia ’s most valuable exported product at 24% of the country’s total. In second place were cigars, cigarellos and cigarettes (10.5%) trailed by alcoholic spirits and liqueurs (9.6%), gold (8.6%), iron ferroalloys (5.5%), thin aluminum foil (3.6%), precious metals waste (3.4%), electrical energy (2.5%), unmounted and unset diamonds (2.1%) then jewelry (1.6%).
The following types of Armenian 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.
- Ores, slag, ash: US$662.8 million (Up by 19.4% since 2018)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $234.7 million (Up by 24.4%)
- Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $140.9 million (Up by 2.7%)
- Gems, precious metals: $118.4 million (Up by 519.8%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $54.7 million (Down by -10.4%)
- Iron, steel: $48.9 million (Up by 157%)
- Clocks, watches including parts: $29.1 million (Up by 36.1%)
- Fish: $22.1 million (Up by 10.3%)
- Vegetables: $21.8 million (Up by 33.2%)
- Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $4.1 million (Down by -46.5%)
Armenia has highly positive net exports in the international trade of ores or concentrates notably those for copper, zinc, molybdenum and precious metals. In turn, these cashflows indicate Armenia’s strong competitive advantages under the ores, slag and ash product category.
Overall, Armenia incurred a -$2.4 billion trade deficit for 2019, down -1% from -$2.5 billion in red ink one year earlier.
Below are exports from Armenia that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Armenia’s goods trail Armenian importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US-$696.1 million (Up by 16.6% since 2018)
- Machinery including computers: -$461.7 million (Down by -15%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$354.5 million (Up by 2.7%)
- Vehicles: -$267.9 million (Up by 61.1%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$186.4 million (Up by 35.8%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$135.4 million (Up by 4%)
- Paper, paper items: -$89.9 million (Up by 4.9%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$89.4 million (Down by -1.7%)
- Meat: -$73.4 million (Up by 36.3%)
- Cereals: -$72.6 million (Down by -13.1%)
Armenia has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits notably for petroleum gases and refined petroleum oils under the mineral fuels including oil category.
Armenian Export Companies
Not one Armenian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists export-related companies from Armenia. Selected examples are shown below:
- Ararat Cement (construction materials)
- Avshar Wine Factory (winery)
- Jermuk Mineral Water Factory (mineral water)
- Kotayk Brewery (alcoholic beverages)
- Multi Group Stone (stone works)
- Ucom (telecommunications)
- Yerevan Brandy Company (alcoholic beverages)
- Yerevan Computer Research and Development Institute (technology)
- Yerevan Confectionery and Macaroni Factory (food)
- Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum (metals)
In macroeconomic terms, Armenia’s total exported goods represent 7.9% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2019 ($32.9 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 7.9% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2019 compares to 7.8% one year earlier. This seems to indicate a slightly increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Armenia’s total economic performance, albeit based on a very short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Armenia’s average unemployment rate was 17.698% for 2019 down from 18.178% one year earlier, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Armenia’s capital city is Yerevan.
See also Georgia’s Top Trading Partners, Turkey’s Top Trading Partners and Top Asian Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, Country Profiles, The World Factbook. Accessed on March 3, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 3, 2020
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on March 3, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 3, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 3, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 3, 2020
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 3, 2020
Wikipedia, Armenia. Accessed on March 3, 2020
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 3, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Armenia. Accessed on March 3, 2020
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on March 3, 2020