The Czech Republic is also called Czechia–its officially approved short name since May 2, 2016.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2020, the Czech koruna appreciated by 5% against the US dollar since 2016 but declined by -1.2% from 2019 to 2020. Czech Republic’s weaker local currency since 2019 makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers during 2020.
The latest available country-specific data shows that 77.6% of products exported from Czech Republic were bought by importers in: Germany (32.6% of the global total), Slovakia (7.6%), Poland (6.2%), France (4.7%), Austria (4.2%), Netherlands (4.1%), United Kingdom (4%), Italy (3.9%), Hungary (3.3%), Spain (2.6%), United States (2.3%) and Russia (2.2%).
Given Czechia’s strategic location in central Europe, it should come as no surprise that 89.2% of Czech exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries. Smaller percentages were sold to customers in the Asia continent (6.1%), North America (2.9%), Africa (0.9%), Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (0.33%) then Oceania led by Australia and New Zealand (0.3%).
The Czech Republic’s population was 10.7 million people as of July 2020. Therefore, its total $191.7 billion in 2020 exports translates to roughly $17,900 for every resident in the central European country.
Czech Republic’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Czech global shipments during 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from the Czech Republic.
- Machinery including computers: US$38.4 billion (20% of total exports)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $36.8 billion (19.2%)
- Vehicles: $36.7 billion (19.1%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $6.5 billion (3.4%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $6.3 billion (3.3%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: $5.1 billion (2.7%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $3.9 billion (2%)
- Toys, games: $3.9 billion (2%)
- Iron, steel: $3.6 billion (1.9%)
- Rubber, rubber articles: $3.5 billion (1.8%)
Czech Republic’s top 10 exports accounted for about three-quarters (75.5%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Toys and games was the lone gainer among the top 10 export categories, up by 6% since 2019.
The leading decliner among Czech Republic’s top 10 export categories was iron and steel via a -11% drop from 2019 to 2020, outpacing rubber and articles made from rubber (down -9.1%) and vehicles (down -9%).
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, the Czech Republic’s most valuable exported products were cars (10.9% of the global total), computers including optical readers (7.4%), automobile parts or accessories (6.9%), phone system devices including smartphones (6.2%) then insulated wire or cable (1.5%).
Overall Czechia posted a $21.5 billion trade surplus in 2020, up 6.7% from $20.2 billion in black ink one year earlier.
The following types of Czech 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.
- Vehicles: US$21.2 billion (Down by -3.4% since 2019)
- Machinery including computers: $6.6 billion (Down by -19.8%)
- Toys, games: $1.9 billion (Up by 6.1%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $1.9 billion (Up by 4%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: $1.8 billion (Down by -2.3%)
- Wood: $1.6 billion (Up by 14.5%)
- Rubber, rubber articles: $1.1 billion (Down by -10%)
- Glass: $903.7 million (Up by 1%)
- Miscellaneous manufactured articles: $787.3 million (Up by 11.7%)
- Railways, streetcars: $573.4 million (Up by 13.1%)
Czech Republic has highly positive net exports in the international trade of automobiles notably cars, automotive parts and accessories. In turn, these cashflows indicate Czech Republic’s strong competitive advantages under the vehicles product category.
Below are exports from Czechia that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Czechia’s goods trail Czech importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$3.8 billion (Down by -38.2% since 2019)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$2.7 billion (Up by 13.7%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$2.2 billion (Down by -16.4%)
- Iron, steel: -$1.4 billion (Down by -25.9%)
- Other chemical goods: -$1.1 billion (Up by 24.1%)
- Meat: -$1 billion (Down by -6.4%)
- Copper: -$792.3 million (Down by -3.1%)
- Fruits, nuts: -$726.7 million (Up by 12.1%)
- Ores, slag, ash: -$581.1 million (Down by -9.3%)
- Aluminum: -$561.6 million (Down by -28.4%)
Czechia has highly negative net exports for petroleum oils and gases.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Czechia’s competitive disadvantages in the international energy market, but also represent key opportunities for the Czech Republic to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.
Czech Export Companies
Only one Czech company made the Forbes Global 2000 rankings: CEZ Group (electric utilities).
Wikipedia lists other relatively large Czech companies. A selected sample of these companies appears below.
- Škoda Auto A.S. (automobiles)
- Agrofert, A.S. (conglomerate)
- RWE Supply & Trading CZ, A.S. (oil, gas)
- Unipetrol, A.S. (chemicals)
- ČEPRO, A.S. (oil, gas)
- Barum Continental Spol. S R.O. (tires)
- Continental Automotive Czech Republic S.R.O. (auto parts)
- Finitrading, A.S. (metallurgy)
In macroeconomic terms, Czechia’s total exported goods represent 44.5% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2020 ($430.9 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 44.5% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2020 compares to 48% one year earlier. This seems to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for the Czech Republic’s total economic performance albeit based on a tiny timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Czechia’s unemployment rate was 4.3% at January 2021, up from an average 2.2% for 2019 according to the International Monetary Fund.
Czech Republic’s capital city is Prague.
See also Czech Republic’s Top Trading Partners and Czech Republic’s Top 10 Imports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on March 4, 2021
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 4, 2021
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 4, 2021
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 4, 2021
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 4, 2021
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 4, 2021
Wikipedia, List of Companies of the Czech Republic. Accessed on March 4, 2021
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on March 4, 2021
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Prague, Czech Republic. Accessed on March 4, 2021