Since 2020 when exports from Belarus amounted to $29.18 billion, overall exports from Belarus accelerated by 36.7% year over year.
The 3 biggest customers buying Belarus’ exported products are Russia, Poland and Ukraine. Combined, that trio of leading importers bought almost three-fifths (59%) of overall Belarusian exports sold during 2021.
Applying a continental lens, 88.5% of Belarusian exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries. Another 10% was sold to importers in Asia.
Belarus shipped tinier percentages worth to North America (0.8%), Africa (0.5%), Latin America (0.1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.01%) mostly Australia and New Zealand.
Belarus Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 25 of Belarus’ top trading partners, countries that imported the most Belarusian shipments by dollar value during 2021. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Belarusian exports.
- Russia: US$19.6 billion (49.2% of total Belarusian exports)
- Poland: $2.2 billion (5.6%)
- Ukraine: $1.7 billion (4.3%)
- Lithuania: $1.66 billion (4.2%)
- Germany: $1.11 billion (2.8%)
- Kazakhstan: $1.07 billion (2.7%)
- China: $780.4 million (2%)
- Latvia: $655.5 million (1.6%)
- Netherlands: $393.4 million (1%)
- Uzbekistan: $254.9 million (0.6%)
- Azerbaijan: $242.1 million (0.6%)
- United States: $240.7 million (0.6%)
- Czech Republic: $221.6 million (0.6%)
- United Kingdom: $207.5 million (0.5%)
- Estonia: $185.7 million (0.5%)
- Italy: $177.1 million (0.4%)
- Moldova: $161.3 million (0.4%)
- Belgium: $161.1 million (0.4%)
- Norway: $149.3 million (0.4%)
- Romania: $144.6 million (0.4%)
- Turkey: $143.1 million (0.4%)
- Israel: $141.9 million (0.4%)
- Denmark: $120.5 million (0.3%)
- France: $119.9 million (0.3%)
- Kyrgyzstan: $100.7 million (0.3%)
Four-fifths (80.2%) worth of Belarusian exports in 2021 were delivered to the above 25 trade partners.
Azerbaijan increased purchases from Latvia at the fastest pace, up by 112.2% in value from 2020 to 2021. Estonia boosted its imports from Belarus by 101.3% trailed by Italy (up 95.7%), Czech Republic (up 90%), Poland (up 78.1%) then Kyrgyzstan (up 67.2%).
Year over year, Belarus experienced declining export sales to the United Kingdom (down -74.2%), Ukraine (down -45.9%), Netherlands (down -42.7%) and Denmark (down -20.7%).
Countries Causing Worst Trade Deficits for Belarus
Belarus incurred an overall -$1.9 billion trade deficit during 2021, down by -46.4% from -$3.6 billion in 2020
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports. Overall, Belarus incurred a -$4 billion trade deficit during 2016.
In 2021, Belarus incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- China: -US$2.8 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2021)
- Germany: -$714.4 million
- Italy: -$598 million
- Turkey: -$581.9 million
- Switzerland: -$258 million
- France: -$230.8 million
- United States of America: -$230 million
- Sweden: -$226 million
- Ukraine: -$224.3 million
- Spain: -$215.5 million
Among Belarus’ trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Belarusian deficits with Sweden (up 272.9%), France (up 26.9%) and Turkey (up 23%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.
In addition, Belarus went from a $1.8 billion surplus in 2020 to suffer a -$224.3 million deficit for 2021.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Belarus’ competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Belarus to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Countries Driving Best Trade Surpluses for Belarus
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
In 2021, Belarus incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- Russia: US$2 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2021)
- Lithuania: $951.1 million
- Kazakhstan: $687.5 million
- Poland: $520.8 million
- Latvia: $347.8 million
- Azerbaijan: $159.2 million
- Uzbekistan: $129.1 million
- Estonia: $93.3 million
- Kyrgyzstan: $61.4 million
- Netherlands: $59.9 million
Among Belarus’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Belarusian surpluses with Poland (up 4,224%), Estonia (up 357.9%) and Latvia (up 54.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.
In addition, Belarus went from incurring a -$3.2 billion deficit trading with Russia and a -$110 million deficit with Azerbaijan in 2020 to posting significant surpluses one year later for 2021.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Belarus’ competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Belarus to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Belarusian Trading Partners
Given that Belarus is an emerging economy, it should come as no surprise that no Belarusian corporation appears on the Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia does list Belarusian export companies. Selected examples are shown below:
- BelAZ (haulage, earth-moving equipment)
- Belkamunmash (electric public transport vehicles)
- Belshina (pneumatic tires)
- Beltransgaz (natural gas)
- Byelorussian Steel Works (steel)
- JSC Defense Systems (air defense manufacturer)
- Minsk Automobile Plant (automobiles)
- Minsk Motorcycle (motorcycles)
- Minsk Tractor Works (tractors)
- Olivaria (brewery)
- TransAVIAexport Airlines (cargo airline)
- Velcom (mobile phones)
See also Belarus Top 10 Exports, Russia’s Top 10 Imports, Ukraine’s Top 10 Imports, Russia’s Top 10 Exports and European Union’s Top Trading Partners
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 9, 2022
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 9, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 9, 2022
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on June 9, 2022
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 9, 2022
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Belarus. Accessed on June 9, 2022