Year over year, the total cost of France’s spending on imported products inflated by 14.9% from 2021 to 2022.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the euro depreciated by -12.1% against the US dollar since 2018 and diluted by -12.3% from 2021 to 2022. The weaker European Union currency made France’s imports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively more expensive when converted starting from the stronger euro.
Domestically, France’s inflation rate for average consumer prices increased by 5.809% from 2021 to 2022.
France’s 5 most valuable imported products in 2022 include petroleum gases, cars, refined petroleum oils, crude oil, and automobile parts or accessories. Collectively, that leading subgroup represents over one-fifth (23.3%) of spending on goods imported into France during 2022.
Taking a global perspective, French imports represent 3.6% of overall global imports which totaled an estimated $22.432 trillion in spending one year earlier during 2021.
Best Suppliers for France’s Imported Products
The latest available country-specific data shows that 70.8% of products imported into France were supplied by exporters in: Germany (35.6% of France’s global total), mainland China (7.5%), Belgium (5.2%), United States of America (5.1%), Spain (4%), Italy (2.8%), Netherlands (2.7%), United Kingdom (2.2%), Switzerland (also 2.2%), Russia (1.8%), Poland (1.7%) and Türkiye (1.3%).
Applying a continental lens, over three-fifths (61.4%) of France’s total imports by value in 2022 were purchased from fellow European countries. Trade partners in Asia supplied 22.7% of import purchases by France while 9% worth originated from North America, with 5.1% exported from African nations.
Tinier percentages came from Latin America (1.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania (0.4%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Given France’s population of 65.6 million people, its total $809.9 billion in 2022 imports translates to roughly $12,300 in yearly product demand from every person in the European Union nation. That per-capita average exceeds the $10,700 one year earlier in 2021.
France’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in France’s import purchases during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into France.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$156.4 billion (19.3% of total imports)
- Machinery including computers: $84.7 billion (10.5%)
- Vehicles: $73.2 billion (9%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $66.3 billion (8.2%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $32.4 billion (4%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $30.4 billion (3.7%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $22.5 billion (2.8%)
- Organic chemicals: $18.8 billion (2.3%)
- Iron, steel: $17.2 billion (2.1%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $14.7 billion (1.8%)
France’s top 10 imports accounted for well over three-fifths (63.8%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
The fastest growers among the top product categories were mineral fuels including oil (up 115.3%), organic chemicals (up 13.7%), then items made from iron or steel (up 13.4%) and plastics as a material and items made from plastic (up 3.4%).
Leading the declines were France’s imports of pharmaceutical products thanks to a -4.8% reduction year over year.
France’s Best Mineral Fuels Imports
In 2022, French importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.
- Petroleum gases: US$63.4 billion (up 210.3% from 2021)
- Processed petroleum oils: $36.2 billion (up 44.5%)
- Crude oil: $35 billion (up 76.4%)
- Electrical energy: $16.6 billion (up 314.7%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $2.8 billion (up 138.1%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $917.1 million (up 18.4%)
- Coke, semi-coke: $726.2 million (up 43.3%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $378.9 million (down -18.5%)
- Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $187.9 million (up 18.2%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $139.8 million (up 5.6%)
Among these import subcategories, French purchases of electrical energy (up 314.7%), petroleum gases (up 210.3%) then coal including solid fuels made from coal (up 138.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These amounts clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported fossil fuels-related products among French businesses and consumers.
France’s Best Machinery Imports
In 2022, French importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery-related products including computers.
- Turbo-jets: US$11.7 billion (up 22.6% from 2021)
- Computers, optical readers: $10.9 billion (down -8.8%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $3.6 billion (down -6.5%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $3.3 billion (down -0.7%)
- Machinery parts: $3.2 billion (down -5.3%)
- Printing machinery: $3 billion (down -2%)
- Refrigerators, freezers: $2.8 billion (down -12.8%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $2.7 billion (up 1.4%)
- Air or vacuum pumps: $2.6 billion (down -4.7%)
- Harvest/threshing machinery: $2.5 billion (up 11.1%)
Among these import subcategories, French purchases of turbo-jets (up 22.6%), harvesting and threshing machinery (up 11.1%) then miscellaneous machinery (up 1.4%) grew from 2021 to 2022.
These amounts and the percentages within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among French businesses and consumers.
France’s Best Vehicles Imports
In 2022, French importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles.
- Cars: US$37.4 billion (down -7.7% from 2021)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $17 billion (up 3.8%)
- Trucks: $6.6 billion (down -9%)
- Tractors: $4.5 billion (up 7.9%)
- Motorcycles: $2.4 billion (up 2.2%)
- Trailers: $1.4 billion (down -3.6%)
- Motorcycle parts/accessories: $1.2 billion (up 5.2%)
- Public-transport vehicles: $929.5 million (down -24.7%)
- Special purpose vehicles: $562 million (down -1.2%)
- Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $527.8 million (up 3.3%)
Among these import subcategories, French purchases of tractors (up 7.9%), motorcycle parts or accessories (up 5.2%) then automobile parts and accessories (up 3.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These amounts and percentages within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported vehicles among French businesses and consumers.
France’s Best Electronics Imports
In 2022, French importers spent the most on the following subcategories of electrical products including consumer electronics.
- Phone devices including smartphones: US$13.4 billion (down -4.8% from 2021)
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $6 billion (up 25.8%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $5.2 billion (up 4.2%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $3.7 billion (up 1.7%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $3.6 billion (up 21.7%)
- Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $3.24 billion (down -8.6%)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $3.22 billion (down -10.2%)
- Electric storage batteries: $3.2 billion (up 8.2%)
- Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $2.4 billion (up 29.5%)
- Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $2 billion (up 17.8%)
Among these import subcategories, French purchases of solar power diodes and semi-conductors (up 29.5%), integrated circuits and microassemblies (up 25.8%) then electrical converters or power units (up 21.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These amounts and the percentages within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among French businesses and consumers.
See also France’s Top Trading Partners, France’s Top 10 Exports and France’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
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International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on March 26, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 26, 2023
Richest Country Reports, Key Statistics Powering Global Wealth. Accessed on March 26, 2023