That estimated dollar amount reflects a 139.1% acceleration from $640.9 million during 2018.
Year over year, the overall value of Greenland’s exports rose 6.5% compared to $1.438 billion in 2021.
Greenland’s top 6 biggest exported products by value are crustaceans including lobsters, frozen whole fish, preserved or prepared crustaceans and molluscs, fish fillets and pieces, dried, salted or smoked miscellaneous fish, then fresh whole fish. Collectively, those 6 leading export categories represent 97.5% of Greenland’s total export revenues. Such a high percentage indicates Greenland intensely concentrated set of exported goods specific to seafood.
Greenland’s Most Valuable Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data shows that 92.3% of products exported from Greenland were bought by importers in: Denmark (85.3% of Greenland’s global total), Latvia (3.7%), Portugal (0.9%), Russia (0.7%), Iceland (0.6%), Faroe Islands (0.4%), Norway (0.3%), Thailand (also 0.3%), Spain (0.1%), United States of America (0.002%), Bahrain (0.001%) and mainland China (0.0005%).
Given Greenland’s population of 56,562 people its total $1.533 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $27,000 for every resident living on the island. That dollar metric exceeds the average $25,000 per capita one year earlier during 2021.
Greenland’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Greenlandic 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 Greenland.
- Fish: US$1.2 billion (80.8% of total exports)
- Meat/seafood preparations: $259.7 million (16.9%)
- Gems, precious metals: $8.4 million (0.5%)
- Miscellaneous animal-origin products: $4.7 million (0.3%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $3.8 million (0.2%)
- Machinery including computers: $2.8 million (0.2%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: $1.9 million (0.1%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.8 million (0.1%)
- Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: $1 million (0.07%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $741,000 (0.05%)
Greenland’s top 10 exports accounted for 99.4% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Miscellaneous textiles including worn clothing was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 4676.2% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was salt, sulphur, stone and cement via a 492.8% advance.
Greenland’s shipments of optical, technical and medical apparatus posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 338.7%.
The most modest increase among Greenland’s top 10 export categories belongs to fish, thanks to a 3.7% year-over-year upturn.
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, crustaceans including lobsters represent Greenland’s most valuable exported product at 36% of its overall total. In second place were frozen whole fish (34%) trailed by preserved or prepared crustaceans and molluscs (16.9%), fish fillets and pieces (8.3%), dried, salted or smoked miscellaneous fish (1.4%), fresh whole fish (0.8%), precious or semi-precious unstrung stones (0.5%), miscellaneous animal products (0.3%), moluscs (0.2%), then phone devices including smartphones (0.1%).
Products Generating Greenland’s Best Trade Surpluses
Greenland generated an estimated US$469.3 million product trade surplus in 2022, down -3.9% from $488.2 million in black ink one year earlier for 2021.
The following types of Greenlandic 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.
- Fish: US$1.2 billion (Up by 3.9% since 2021)
- Meat/seafood preparations: $244.3 million (Up by 30.5%)
- Gems, precious metals: $6.8 million (Up by 132%)
- Miscellaneous animal-origin products: $4.7 million (Up by 181.5%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $721,000 (Reversing a -$8,000 deficit)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $315,000 (Reversing a -$754,000 deficit)
- Nickel: $197,000 (Reversing a -$50,000 deficit)
- Wool: $83,000 (Down by -71.9%)
- Collector items, art, antiques: $64,000 (Down by -35.4%)
- Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $21,000 (Up by 90.9%)
Greenland has highly positive net exports in the international trade of fish-related categories. In turn, these cashflows indicate Greenland’s strong competitive advantages notably under the fish product category as well as meat or seafood preparations.
Products Causing Greenland’s Worst Trade Deficits
Below are exports from Greenland that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Greenland’s goods trail Greenlandic importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$259.2 million (Up by 95.7% since 2021)
- Machinery including computers: -$111.7 million (Up by 1.8%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: -$102.5 million (Up by 413.1%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$54.6 million (Up by 21.9%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$43.8 million (Down by -10.4%)
- Vehicles: -$42.9 million (Up by 10.4%)
- Meat: -$23.4 million (Up by 7.9%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: -$21.7 million (Down by -7.2%)
- Cereal/milk preparations: -$20.2 million (Up by 6.6%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$19 million (Down by -6.2%)
Greenland has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for refined petroleum oils under the mineral fuels-related product category.
Greenlandic Export Companies
Not one corporation based in Greenland ranks on the Forbes Global 2000 list.
Wikipedia lists some exports-related companies from Greenland. Selected examples are shown below.
- Great Greenland Furhouse (fur clothing)
- Greenland Brewhouse (beer)
- Nunaoil (oil, gas)
- Royal Greenland (fish)
Greenland’s capital city is Nuuk.
See also Denmark’s Top Trading Partners, Latvia’s Top 10 Exports, Portugal’s Top Trading Partners and Iceland’s Top 10 Exports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook North America: Greenland. Accessed on September 12, 2023
FlagPictures.org, Flag of Greenland. Accessed on September 12, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 12, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 12, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 12, 2023
Wikipedia, Greenland. Accessed on September 12, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on September 12, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Greenland. Accessed on September 12, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on September 12, 2023