Year over year, the value of Israeli exports accelerated by 19.3% from $50.2 billion during 2020.
Adopting a continental lens, about one-third (33.7%) of Israel’s exports by value were delivered to European countries while 31.6% were sold to importers in North America. Israel shipped another 28.9% worth of goods to Asia.
Smaller percentages went to Latin America (3.4%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (1.2%) then Oceania (1.1%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Israel’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 25 of Israel’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Israeli shipments by dollar value during 2021. Also shown is each importer country’s percentage consumption of total Israeli exports.
- United States: US$17.7 billion (29.6% of total Israeli exports)
- China: $4.8 billion (8)
- India: $3.1 billion (5.2%)
- United Kingdom: $2.6 billion (4.3%)
- Netherlands: $2.4 billion (4)
- Belgium: $2.1 billion (3.6%)
- Turkey: $2 billion (3.4%)
- Germany: $1.9 billion (3.2%)
- Ireland: $1.6 billion (2.6%)
- Hong Kong: $1.51 billion (2.5%)
- Italy: $1.46 billion (2.4%)
- France: $1.37 billion (2.3%)
- Brazil: $1.34 billion (2.2%)
- South Korea: $1.26 billion (2.1%)
- Spain: $1.23 billion (2.1%)
- Taiwan: $1.15 billion (1.9%)
- Japan: $1.08 billion (1.8%)
- Russia: $846.2 million (1.4%)
- Switzerland: $807.9 million (1.4%)
- Singapore: $750.3 million (1.3%)
- Canada: $648.5 million (1.1%)
- Cyprus: $605.8 million (1)
- Australia: $598.3 million (1)
- Greece: $480.4 million (0.8%)
- Mexico: $415.0 million (0.7%)
Nine-fifths (89.9%) of Israeli exports in 2021 were delivered to the above 25 trading partners.
Israel increased its export revenues by the greatest percentages selling to Ireland (up 689.2% from 2020), India (up 94.2%), Cyprus (up 91.3%), Italy (up 85%) and Switzerland (up 81.5%).
There were 2 annual decliners namely importers in the United Kingdom (down -30.3%) and the Netherlands (down -2.3%).
Countries Causing Israel’s Largest Trade Deficits
Overall, Israel incurred -$30.5 billion product trade deficit for 2021, up by 59.5% from the -$19.4 billion in red ink one year earlier during 2020.
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
Israel incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- China: -US$12.3 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2021)
- Germany: -$3.9 billion
- Turkey: -$3.8 billion
- Italy: -$2.2 billion
- Russia: -$1.6 billion
- Japan: -$1.3 billion
- Vietnam: -$1.1 billion
- Czech Republic: -$907.2 million
- Poland: -$888.1 million
- South Korea: -$843.3 million
Among Israel’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Israeli deficits with Vietnam (up 369.7%), Japan (up 346%) and China (up 257.9%) grew at the fastest percentage pace from 2020 to 2021.
In addition, Israel went from garnering a $253.5 million surplus for 2020 to incurring a -$1.6 billion deficit trading with the Russian Federation in 2021.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Israel’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Israel to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Countries Generating Israel’s Best Trade Surpluses
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
Israel incurred the highest trade surpluses at the expense of the following countries.
- United States: US$7 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2021)
- Netherlands: $765.7 million
- Brazil: $662.5 million
- Ireland: $604.7 million
- Cyprus: $409.5 million
- United Kingdom: $404.8 million
- Australia: $365 million
- India: $351.9 million
- Hong Kong: $258.1 million
- Malta: $221.9 million
Among Israel’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Israeli surpluses with Malta (up 480.1%), Cyprus (up 342.1%) and India (up 312.1%) grew at the fastest percentage pace from 2020 to 2021.
In addition, Israel went from incurring -$437.6 million, -$1 billion and -$770.3 million deficits with the Netherlands, Ireland and Hong Kong for 2020 to posting the above-listed surpluses in 2021.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Israel’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Israel to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Israeli Export Companies
Ten Israeli corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the world-class Israeli companies that Forbes included.
- Bank Hapoalim (financial institution)
- Bank Leumi (financial institution)
- Check Point Software (information systems)
- Delek Group (investment services)
- FIBI Holdings (regional bank)
- IDB Holding (investment services)
- Israel Corp (investment services)
- Israel Discount Bank (regional bank)
- Mizrahi Tefahot Bank (regional bank)
- Teva Pharmaceutical (health care)
Shown within parentheses is the industry in which each country operates.
See also Israel’s Top 10 Imports, Israel’s Top 10 Exports, Palestine’s Top 10 Exports, Lebanon’s Top 10 Exports and Diamond Exports by Country
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Middle East: Israel. Accessed on June 24, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 24, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 24, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 24, 2022
Wikipedia, Israel. Accessed on June 24, 2022
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Israel. Accessed on June 24, 2022
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Jerusalem, Israel. Accessed on June 24, 2022