That dollar amount results from an 18.7% rise from $108.5 billion during 2018.
Year over year, the overall value of Danish exports gained 3.1% compared to $125 billion in 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the Danish krone depreciated by -13.1% against the US dollar since 2018 and diluted by -13.6% from 2021 to 2022. Denmark’s weaker local currency makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Denmark’s top 5 most valuable exported products are medication mixes in dosage, blood fractions including antisera, electrical energy, pork, and refined petroleum oils. Collectively, that cohort of leading Danish exports accounted for over one-fifth (21.9%) of Denmark’s overall revenues from exports during 2022.
Denmark’s Most Valuable Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data shows that 69.6% of products exported from Denmark were bought by importers in: Germany (15.7% of Denmark’s global total), Sweden (11.5%), Netherlands (6.9%), Norway (6.5%), United States of America (5.7%), United Kingdom (5.6%), Poland (4.1%), France (3.6%), mainland China (3.5%), Italy (2.5%), Spain (2.1%) and Finland (2%).
From a continental perspective, 76.1% of Denmark’s exports by value was delivered to fellow European countries while 12.7% was sold to importers in Asia. Denmark shipped another 6.9% worth of goods to North America.
Tinier percentages went to Latin America (1.6%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (1.37%), then Oceania led by Australia (1.34%).
Given Denmark’s population of 5.89 million people, its total $128.9 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $21,900 for every resident in the northern European country. That dollar metric outpaces the average $21,400 per capita one year earlier in 2021.
Denmark’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Danish global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Denmark.
- Pharmaceuticals: US$20.1 billion (15.6% of total exports)
- Machinery including computers: $16.8 billion (13.1%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $9.6 billion (7.4%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $8 billion (6.2%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $4.7 billion (3.6%)
- Fish: $4.2 billion (3.3%)
- Meat: $4 billion (3.1%)
- Vehicles: $3.8 billion (3%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: $3.8 billion (2.9%)
- Dairy, eggs, honey: $3.2 billion (2.5%)
Denmark’s top 10 exports accounted for 60.8% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Mineral fuels including oil represents the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 56.8% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was fish via a 18.6% gain.
Denmark’s shipments of dairy, eggs and honey posted the third-fastest appreciation, up by 14.4%.
The leading decliner among Denmark’s top 10 export categories was electrical machinery and equipment, dropping -16% year over year.
At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, Denmark’s most valuable exported products are medication mixes in dosage (12.5% of total), blood fractions including antisera (2.7%), electrical energy (2.6%), pork (2.2%), processed petroleum oils (1.9%), cheese and curd (1.6%), hormones and miscellaneous steroids (1.5%), cars (1.4%), miscellaneous furniture (also 1.4%), then computers including optical readers (1.3%).
Products Generating Denmark’s Highest Trade Surpluses
Denmark earned an overall $2.4 billion trade surplus in 2022, down by -25.1% from the $3.2 billion in black ink one year earlier for 2021.
The following types of Danish 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.
- Pharmaceuticals: US$14.3 billion (Up by 10.6% since 2021)
- Meat: $2.8 billion (Down by -11.1%)
- Machinery including computers: $2.6 billion (Up by 34.8%)
- Modified starches, glues, enzymes: $2.1 billion (Up by 6.6%)
- Dairy, eggs, honey: $2.1 billion (Up by 9.6%)
- Organic chemicals: $1.4 billion (Down by -17.6%)
- Live animals: $1.2 billion (Down by -3.3%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.1 billion (Down by -14.0%)
- Cereal/milk preparations: $491.3 million (Down by -10.1%)
- Fish: $474.6 million (Down by -46.1%)
Denmark has highly positive net exports in the international trade of drugs and medicines. In turn, these cashflows indicate Denmark’s strong competitive advantages under the pharmaceuticals product category.
Products Causing Denmark’s Worst Trade Deficits
Below are exports from Denmark that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Denmark’s goods trail Danish importer spending on foreign products.
- Vehicles: -US$5.8 billion (Down by -3.6% since 2021)
- Mineral fuels including oil: -$4.8 billion (Up by 18.8%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$3.4 billion (Up by 70.6%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$2.2 billion (Down by -1.5%)
- Wood: -$1.7 billion (Down by -6.5%)
- Iron, steel: -$1.3 billion (Up by 27.8%)
- Food industry waste, animal fodder: -$821.3 million (Up by 52.5%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$789.9 million (Up by 58.2%)
- Paper, paper items: -$731.6 million (Down by -2.4%)
- Fruits, nuts: -$644.3 million (Down by -11.1%)
Denmark has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the vehicles category notably for cars, trucks, trailers, tractors and even bicycles.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Denmark’s competitive disadvantages in the international vehicles market, but also represent key opportunities for Denmark to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations on alternative transportation means.
Denmark’s Major Export Companies
Fourteen Danish corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000 for 2018. Below is a sample of the major Danish companies that Forbes included.
- A.P. Moller-Maersk Group (transportation, energy)
- Carlsberg (beverages)
- Coloplast (medical equipment, supplies)
- DSV (transportation, logistics)
- Novo Nordisk (pharmaceuticals)
- Novozymes (biotechs)
- TDC (telecommunications services)
- Vestas Wind Systems (electrical equipment)
Wikipedia also lists exporters from Denmark. Selected examples are shown below.
- Arla Foods (dairy products)
- House of Amber (jewelry)
- Kopenhagen Fur (fur clothing, accessories)
- Lego Group (toys)
- Pharma Nord (pharmaceuticals)
- Royal Copenhagen (porcelain)
- Tuborg (brewery)
In macroeconomic terms, Denmark’s total exported goods represent 31.3% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($411 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 31.3% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 33.5% one year earlier. Those percentages suggest a decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Denmark’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Denmark’s unemployment rate averaged 5.2% during 2022, up from an average 5.083% for 2021 according to data from the International Monetary Fund.
Denmark’s capital city is Copenhagen.
See also Denmark’s Top 10 Imports, Denmark’s Top Trading Partners, Drugs and Medicine Exports by Country and Top Blood Exporters by Country
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on April 5, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 5, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on April 5, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 5, 2023
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on April 5, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 5, 2023
Wikipedia, Denmark. Accessed on April 5, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on April 5, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Denmark. Accessed on April 5, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on April 5, 2023