That dollar total reflects a 39.1% increase since 2017 and a 24.3% uptick from 2020 to 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2021, Lithuania’s currency is the euro which appreciated by 5% against the US dollar since 2017 and strengthened by 3.9% from 2020 to 2021. The stronger European Union currency in 2021 made Lithuania’s exports paid for in weaker US dollars relatively more expensive for international buyers.
At the detailed 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System level, Lithuania’s 10 most valuable exported products are processed petroleum oils, miscellaneous furniture, diagnostic and laboratory reagents, cigarettes and cigars, wheat, medication mixes in dosage, fertilizer mixes, seats, carbonates, and cars.
Collectively, those 10 items generated over a quarter (28.5%) of Lithuanian export sales in 2021.
The latest available country-specific data shows that 70.3% of products exported from Lithuania were bought by importers in: Russia (10.8% of the global total), Latvia (9.4%), Germany (8.2%), Poland (7.9%), United States of America (6.3%), Netherlands (5.1%), Estonia (4.9%), Sweden (4.4%), United Kingdom (3.9%), Ukraine (3.8%), Belarus (3%) and Norway (2.6%).
From a continental perspective, 82.9% of Lithuania’s exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 7.1% were sold to importers in Asia. Lithuania shipped another 6.9% worth of goods to North America.
Smaller percentages went to Africa (2.1%), Latin America (0.6%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania (0.4%) led by Australia.
Given Lithuania’s population of 2.8 million people, its total $40.8 billion in 2021 exports translates to roughly $14,600 for every resident in the Baltic country. That per-capita metric compares with an average $11,800 in 2020.
Lithuania’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Lithuanian global shipments during 2021. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Lithuania.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$4.2 billion (10.4% of total exports)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: $3.3 billion (8.2%)
- Machinery including computers: $2.9 billion (7.1%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $2.7 billion (6.5%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $2.5 billion (6.1%)
- Vehicles: $2.2 billion (5.4%)
- Wood: $1.7 billion (4.3%)
- Other chemical goods: $1.7 billion (4.2%)
- Fertilizers: $1.4 billion (3.3%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.2 billion (3%)
Lithuania’s top 10 exports accounted for 58.4% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Mineral fuels including oil represents the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 82.9% since 2020.
In second place for improving export sales was fertilizers which rose by 63.8%.
Lithuania’s shipments of wood posted the third-fastest gain thanks to its 43.3% acceleration year over year.
The most modest gain among Lithuania’s top 10 export categories was the 1.2% expansion from 2020 to 2021 for exported machinery including computers.
Top Products Generating Trade Surpluses for Lithuania
The following types of Lithuanian 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.
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: US$2.6 billion (Up by 25.4% since 2020)
- Cereals: $874.8 million (Down by -12.6%)
- Fertilizers: $840.4 million (Up by 84.2%)
- Other chemical goods: $839.6 million (Up by 9.1%)
- Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $600.8 million (Down by -21%)
- Wood: $491.3 million (Up by 28.3%)
- Modified starches, glues, enzymes: $367.8 million (Up by 152.4%)
- Oil seeds: $323.8 million (Up by 12.1%)
- Dairy, eggs, honey: $305.3 million (Up by 15.4%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $238.1 million (Up by 25.7%)
Lithuania has highly positive net exports in the international trade of furniture, lighting, signs and prefabricated buildings. In turn, these cashflows indicate Lithuania’s strong competitive advantages under that product category.
Top Products Causing Trade Deficits for Lithuania
Lithuania incurred an overall -$3.7 billion trade deficit for 2021, up by 637.9% from the -$506.8 million in red ink during 2020.
Below are exports from Lithuania that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Lithuania’s goods trail Lithuanian importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$3.2 billion (Up by 124.7% since 2020)
- Vehicles: -$1.8 billion (Up by 28.4%)
- Machinery including computers: -$1.5 billion (Up by 69.1%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$923.3 million (Up by 48.3%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$536.3 million (Up by 12.4%)
- Organic chemicals: -$423.9 million (Up by 4.5%)
- Iron, steel: -$422.8 million (Up by 84.3%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: -$322.7 million (Up by 40.6%)
- Rubber, rubber articles: -$229.2 million (Up by 22.9%)
- Paper, paper items: -$226.1 million (Up by 26.4%)
Lithuania has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the mineral fuels-related category, notably for crude oil, petroleum gases and electricity.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Lithuania’s competitive disadvantages in the international fossil fuel market, but also represent key opportunities for Lithuania to improve its position in the global economy through
Lithuanian Export Companies
Wikipedia lists the following Lithuania-based companies involved in international trade.
- AB Stumbras (alcoholic beverages)
- Achema (fertilizers)
- Alita (alcoholic beverages)
- Dvarčionių keramika (ceramics)
- EKSPLA (photonics, lasers)
In macroeconomic terms, Lithuania’s total exported goods represent 34.7% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2021 ($117.6 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 34.7% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2021 compares to 30.6% one year earlier. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Lithuania’s total economic performance albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Lithuania’s unemployment rate was 6.5% for 2021, down from 8.488% one year earlier according to the International Monetary Fund.
Lithuania’s capital city is Vilnius.
See also Lithuania’s Top 10 Imports, Lithuania’s Top Trading Partners, Russia’s Top Trading Partners and Russia’s Top 10 Exports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on March 30, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 30, 2022
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (Domestic Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on March 30, 2022
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 30, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 30, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 30, 2022
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 30, 2022
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Lithuania. Accessed on March 30, 2022
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on March 30, 2022