That dollar amount reflects a 53.2% gain compared to $2.5 billion five years earlier during 2018.
Year over year, the total value of Georgian exports accelerated by 18.1% from $3.3 billion in 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the Georgian lari depreciated by -15.1% against the US dollar since 2018 and rose by 9.5% from 2021 to 2022. Georgia’s weaker local currency compared to 2018 makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Georgia’s Best Exports Customers
The latest available country-specific data shows that 81.3% of products exported from Georgia was bought by importers in: mainland China (18.1% of the Georgian total), Russia (14.2%), Bulgaria (10.9%), Türkiye (9.4%), United States of America (6.8%), Armenia (5.5%), Azerbaijan (4.3%), Peru (4.0%), Ukraine (2.4%), Switzerland (2.3%), Kazakhstan (1.9%) and Germany (1.6%).
From a continental perspective, 46.7% of Georgia exports by value was delivered to Asian countries while 40.4% was sold to fellow European importers. Georgia shipped another 6.9% worth of goods to North America.
Smaller percentages went to buyers in Latin America (4.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (1.6%), then Oceania (0.04%) mostly Australia.
Given Georgia’s population of 3.7 million people, its total $3.9 billion for 2022 exports translates to roughly $1,050 for every resident in the country typically associated with the Middle East. That per-capita dollar amount exceeds the average $900 for 2021.
Georgia’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Georgian global shipments during 2022, 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 Georgia.
- Ores, slag, ash: US$1.1 billion (28.8% of total exports)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $575.1 million (14.8%)
- Iron, steel: $508.5 million (13.1%)
- Fertilizers: $282 million (7.3%)
- Fruits, nuts: $178 million (4.6%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $131.3 million (3.4%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $115.7 million (3%)
- Gems, precious metals: $99.3 million (2.6%)
- Live animals: $87.5 million (2.3%)
- Machinery including computers: $64.4 million (1.7%)
Georgia’s top 10 exports categories accounted for 81.3% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Mineral fuels including oil was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 136.5% from 2021 to 2022. That category was boosted by higher revenues from Georgian exports of refined petroleum oils.
In second place for improving export sales was fertilizers via a 135.2% advance.
Georgia’s shipments of live animals posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 40.4%.
The leading decliner among Georgia’s top 10 export categories was fruits and nuts, pulled down by a -11.5% year-over-year drop.
The above listed product categories are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level.
Drilling down to the more detailed 4-digit HTS codes, Georgia’s most valuable exported goods are copper ores and concentrates (25.2% of the Georgian total), iron ferroalloys (11.7%), nitrogenous fertilizers (7.2%), wine (6.5%), precious metal ores and concentrates (3.5%), alcoholic beverages including spirits and liqueurs (3.2%), mineral and aerated waters (2.9%), miscellaneous nuts (2.5%), electrical energy (2.4%), then non-alcoholic drinks (2.1%) excluding water, juices and milk.
Products Generating Trade Surpluses for Georgia
The following types of Georgian 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$1.1 billion (Up by 26.7% since 2021)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $508.3 million (Down by -3%)
- Fertilizers: $247.8 million (Up by 152.5%)
- Fruits, nuts: $110.3 million (Down by -28.2%)
- Gems, precious metals: $90.2 million (Up by 1.9%)
- Iron, steel: $85.1 million (Down by -64%)
- Live animals: $55.8 million (Up by 38.8%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $10.6 million (Down by -42.8%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $10 million (Down by -11.3%)
- Lead: $7.8 million (Down by -22%)
Georgia has highly positive net exports in the international trade of copper ores and concentrates. In turn, these cashflows indicate Georgia’s strong competitive advantages under the ores, slag and ash product category.
Products Causing Trade Deficits for Georgia
Georgia racked up an overall -US$6.2 billion trade deficit during 2022, expanding by 39.6% from -$4.4 billion in red ink one year earlier in 2021.
Below are exports from Georgia that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Georgia’s goods trail Georgian importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$1.8 billion (Up by 41.6% since 2021)
- Machinery including computers: -$884.2 million (Up by 20.5%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$716.3 million (Up by 45.3%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$373.3 million (Up by 17.3%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$358.7 million (Down by -14.8%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$291.2 million (Up by 25.3%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: -$180.3 million (Up by 36.5%)
- Paper, paper items: -$167.4 million (Up by 40.8%)
- Perfumes, cosmetics: -$166.9 million (Up by 23.2%)
- Wood: -$151.4 million (Up by 66%)
Under the mineral fuels including oil category, Georgia has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for particularly refined oils and petroleum gases.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Georgia’s competitive disadvantages in the international pharmaceuticals market, but also represent key opportunities for Georgia to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.
Georgian Export Companies
Given the country’s tiny size, it should come as no surprise that not one Georgian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia does list a group of Georgian companies which gives some insight into the types of exports shipped from Georgia. Selected examples are shown below.
- Badagoni Wine Company (wine producer)
- Georgian Industrial Group (energy products)
- JSC RMG Copper (copper, gold)
- JSC Tbilaviamsheni (aerospace products)
- Kutaisi Auto Mechanical Plant (trucks, automotive parts)
- MagtiCom Ltd (telecommunications)
- Rustavi Steel (steel products)
- Wissol Petroleum (oil, gas)
In macroeconomic terms, Georgia’s total exported goods represent an estimated 5.2% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($61.6 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 5.2% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 5.3% one year earlier. This seems to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Georgia’s total economic performance albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Georgia’s unemployment rate averaged 18.69% for 2022, down from an average 20.6% jobless rate for 2021 according to metrics from the International Monetary Fund.
Georgia’s capital and largest city is Tbilisi.
See also Georgia’s Top Trading Partners, China’s Top Trading Partners, Russia Top Trading Partners and Turkey’s Top 10 Exports
Central Intelligence Agency, Country Profiles, The World Factbook. Accessed on June 25, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 25, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (Domestic Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on June 25, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 25, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 25, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 25, 2023
Wikipedia, Georgia (country). Accessed on June 25, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 25, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Georgia (country). Accessed on June 25, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 25, 2023