That dollar amount reflects a 17.7% increase since 2017 when Montenegro’s exports totaled $371.5 million.
Year over year, the value of Montenegrin exports rose 19.4% compared to $366 million for 2020.
Montenegro’s top 5 most valuable exports are unwrought aluminum, electrical energy, sawn wood, medication mixes, then iron or steel scrap. Collectively, that group of major exports generated about half (49.9%) of overall Montenegrin shipments by value during 2021. Such a high percentage indicates a relatively concentrated portfolio of exported products.
Montenegro’s Major Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data shows that 84.9% of products exported from Montenegro were bought by importers in: Serbia (29.9% of Montenegro’s global total), Switzerland (11.6%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (7.6%), Italy (5.9%), Turkey (5.5%), Slovenia (5%), Germany (4.65%), Albania (4.57%), Poland (3.5%), Czech Republic (2.57%), Greece (2.56%) and Hungary (1.5%).
From a continental perspective, 88.4% of Montenegro’s exports by value were delivered to European countries while 9.2% were sold to importers in Asia. Montenegro shipped another 1.3% worth of goods to Africa.
Tinier percentages went to North America (0.7%), Latin America (0.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.03%) mostly Australia.
Given Montenegro’s population of 622,000 people, its total $437.1 million in 2021 exports translates to roughly $700 for every resident in the Southeastern European country. That dollar metric exceeds the average $660 per capita one year earlier in 2020.
Montenegro’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Montenegrin 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 Montenegro.
- Aluminum: US$88.6 million (20.3% of total exports)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $80.9 million (18.5%)
- Wood: $37.5 million (8.6%)
- Iron, steel: $27.8 million (6.4%)
- Machinery including computers: $25.9 million (5.9%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $23.7 million (5.4%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $22.8 million (5.2%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $17 million (3.9%)
- Meat: $12.5 million (2.9%)
- Vehicles: $9.4 million (2.2%)
Montenegro’s top 10 exports accounted for almost four-fifths (79.2%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Aluminum was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 50.8% from 2020 to 2021.
In second place for improving export sales was machinery including computers, via a 43.8% advance.
Montenegro’s shipments of the metals iron and steel posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 39.4%.
The leading decliner among Montenegro’s top 10 export categories was ores, slag and ash, thanks to a -28.3% year-over-year reduction.
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, unwrought aluminum represents Montenegro’s most valuable exported product at 18.6% of the country’s total. In second place were electrical energy (14.7%) trailed by sawn wood (6.4%), medication mixes in dosage (5.2%), iron or steel scrap (5%), zinc ores and concentrates (3.2%), wine (2.8%), salted, dried or smoked meat (2.7%), aluminum ores and concentrates (2.2%), and processed petroleum oils (also 2.2%).
Countries Driving Montenegro’s Best Trade Surpluses
The following types of Montenegrin 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.
- Aluminum: US$49.2 million (Up by 50% since 2020)
- Ores, slag, ash: $23.5 million (Down by -28.9%)
- Copper: $4.9 million (Up by 124.1%)
- Wood: $4.3 million (Up by 4585.9%)
- Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $2.2 million (Up by 48.5%)
- Woodpulp: $1.3 million (Up by 81.5%)
- Lead: $90,000 (Up by 718.2%)
Montenegro has highly positive net exports in the international trade of aluminum. In turn, these cashflows indicate Montenegro’s strong competitive advantages under the ores, slag and ash category for aluminum ores and concentrates as well as under the aluminum product category.
Countries Causing Montenegro’s Worst Trade Deficits
Montenegro incurred an overall -$2.07 billion products-related trade deficit for 2021, expanding by 19% from -$1.74 billion in red ink one year earlier in 2020.
Below are exports from Montenegro that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Montenegro’s goods trail Montenegrin importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$203.8 million (Up by 91.4% since 2020)
- Machinery including computers: -$158 million (Down by -0.2%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$144.2 million (Down by -15.9%)
- Vehicles: -$141.1 million (Up by 17.5%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$130.5 million (Up by 47.7%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$83 million (Up by 8.7%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$75.8 million (Up by 17.5%)
- Meat: -$67.6 million (Up by 11%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: -$65.8 million (Down by -2.4%)
- Miscellaneous food preparations: -$52.1 million (Up by 24.6%)
Montenegro has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the electrical machinery and equipment category.
Montenegrin Export Companies
Not one Montenegrin corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists exports-related companies from Montenegro. Selected examples are shown below.
- Crnogorski Telekom (telecommunications)
- Jugopetrol Kotor (oil, gas)
- Plantaže (wine, grape brandy)
- Rudnici boksita a.d. Niksic (bauxite)
- Trebjesa brewery (beer)
In macroeconomic terms, Montenegro’s total exported goods represent 3.1% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2021 ($14.03 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 3.1% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2021 compares to 3.4% for 2020. Those percentages suggest a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Montenegro’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Montenegro’s capital city is Podgorica.
See also France’s Top 10 Exports, Italy’s Top 10 Exports and Top EU Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Europe: Montenegro. Accessed on September 9, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 9, 2022
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 9, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 9, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 9, 2022
Wikipedia, Flag of Montenegro. Accessed on September 9, 2022
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on September 9, 2022
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Montenegro. Accessed on September 9, 2022
Wikipedia, Montenegro. Accessed on September 9, 2022
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on September 9, 2022
WorldOMeter, Montenegro Population. Accessed on September 9, 2022