That dollar amount reflects a 40.4% gain since 2017 and a 28.8% increase from 2020 to 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2021, the Georgian lari depreciated by -28.4% against the US dollar since 2017 and declined by -3.6% from 2020 to 2021. Georgia’s weaker local currency makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
The top products exported from the country of Georgia ranked by total revenues are copper ores and concentrates, iron ferroalloys, wine, mineral and aerated waters, alcoholic beverages, nitrogenous fertilizers, miscellaneous nuts, gold, knitted or crocheted t-shirts and vests, then non-alcoholic drinks excluding water, juices and milk.
The latest available country-specific data shows that 81.3% of products exported from Georgia were bought by importers in: mainland China (18.2% of the global total), Russia (17.2%), Turkey (9.4%), Bulgaria (7.7%), Ukraine (6.1%), United States of America (5.8%), Armenia (4.4%), Azerbaijan (3.4%), Spain (2.7%), Switzerland (2.2%), Kazakhstan (2.1%) and Germany (2%).
From a continental perspective, 47.7% of Georgia exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 44% were sold to importers in Asia. Georgia shipped another 6.3% worth of goods to North America.
Smaller percentages went to Latin America (1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (0.9%) then Oceania mainly Australia (0.1%).
Given Georgia’s population of 3.7 million people, its total $3.3 billion for 2021 exports translates to roughly $900 for every resident in the country typically associated with the Middle East. That per-capita dollar amount exceeds the average $700 for 2020.
Georgia’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Georgian global shipments during 2021, 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$877 million (26.6% of total exports)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $569.8 million (17.3%)
- Iron, steel: $555.7 million (16.9%)
- Fruits, nuts: $201.1 million (6.1%)
- Fertilizers: $119.9 million (3.6%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $106.7 million (3.2%)
- Gems, precious metals: $96.9 million (2.9%)
- Live animals: $62.3 million (1.9%)
- Machinery including computers: $59 million (1.8%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $53.3 million (1.6%)
Georgia’s top 10 exports categories accounted for 82.1% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Machinery including computers was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 167.9% from 2020 to 2021.
In second place for improving export sales was iron or steel as materials via a 103.5% gain.
Georgia’s shipments of knitted or crocheted clothing and accessories posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 67.4%.
The leading decliner among Georgia’s top 10 export categories was the gems and precious metals category thanks to a -16.7% drop year over year. That category was weighed down by lower revenues from Georgian exports of gold.
Drilling down to the more detailed 4-digit HTS codes, Georgia’s most valuable exported goods are copper ores and concentrates (24.8% of its global total), iron ferroalloys (14.5%), wine (7.3%), mineral and aerated waters (4.3%), alcoholic beverages (3.9%), nitrogenous fertilizers (3.6%), miscellaneous nuts (3.5%), gold (2%), knitted or crocheted t-shirts and vests (1.9%) then non-alcoholic drinks (1.8%) 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$857 million (Up by 1.7% since 2020)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $523.8 million (Up by 20.4%)
- Iron, steel: $236.8 million (Up by 254.1%)
- Fruits, nuts: $153.6 million (Up by 31.7%)
- Fertilizers: $98.1 million (Up by 82.8%)
- Gems, precious metals: $88.6 million (Down by -20.1%)
- Live animals: $40.2 million (Up by 17.2%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $18.6 million (Up by 4.1%)
- Copper: $15.4 million (Up by 159.4%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $11.3 million (Reversing a -$983,000 deficit in 2020)
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 incurred an overall -$4.4 billion trade deficit during 2021, up 22.8% from -$3.6 billion in red ink one year earlier.
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$1.3 billion (Up by 31% since 2020)
- Machinery including computers: -$733.8 million (Up by 20.9%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$492.9 million (Up by 18.1%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$420.9 million (Up by 46.4%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$318.2 million (Up by 27.3%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$232.4 million (Up by 16.1%)
- Other chemical goods: -$138 million (Up by 32.1%)
- Perfumes, cosmetics: -$135.4 million (Up by 18.4%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: -$132.1 million (Up by 18%)
- Vehicles: -$128 million (Down by -0.5%)
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 5.3% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2021 ($61.6 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 5.3% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2021 compares to 4.6% one year earlier. This seems to indicate a relatively increasing 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 was forecasted as 18% for 2021, down from 18.501% for 2020 according to the International Monetary Fund and Trading Economics.
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 April 5, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 5, 2022
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on April 5, 2022
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 5, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 5, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 5, 2022
Wikipedia, Georgia (country). Accessed on April 5, 2022
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on April 5, 2022
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Georgia (country). Accessed on April 5, 2022
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on April 5, 2022