That dollar amount reflects a 43.6% increase since 2017 when Polish exports totaled $221.7 billion. Year over year, the value of Poland’s exports accelerated by 25% from $254.2 billion during 2020.
The top 5 exports from Poland are automobile parts or accessories, electric storage batteries, seats excluding barber or dentist chairs, computers including optical readers, and miscellaneous furniture. Combined, that most valuable quintet represents 13.9% of total Polish exports.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2021, the Polish złoty declined by -2.2% against the US dollar since 2017 but increased by 1% from 2020 to 2021. Poland’s weaker local currency since 2017 makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Poland’s Main Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data shows that 70% of products exported from Poland were bought by importers in: Germany (28.6% of Poland’s global total), Czech Republic (6%), France (5.7%), United Kingdom (5.1%), Italy (4.44%), Netherlands (4.34%), Russia (2.77%), Sweden (2.75%), United States of America (2.73%), Slovakia (2.54%), Belgium (2.52%) and Hungary (2.51%).
From a continental perspective, 85.9% of Poland’s exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 5% were sold to importers in Asia. Poland shipped another 3.7% worth of goods to each of North America and Oceania led by Australia.
Tinier percentages went to Africa (1.2%) and Latin America (0.6%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
Given Poland’s population of 37.8 million people, its total $317.8 billion in 2021 exports translates to roughly $8,400 for every resident in the Central European country. That dollar metric eclipses the average $7,100 per capita for 2020.
Poland’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Polish global shipments during 2021. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Poland.
- Machinery including computers: US$40.5 billion (12.7% of total exports)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $39.4 billion (12.4%)
- Vehicles: $27.3 billion (8.6%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: $17.6 billion (5.6%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $15.8 billion (5%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $10.8 billion (3.4%)
- Iron, steel: $7.4 billion (2.3%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $7 billion (2.2%)
- Meat: $6.4 billion (2%)
- Rubber, rubber articles: $6.3 billion (2%)
Poland’s top 10 exports accounted for 56.2% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Mineral fuels including oil was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 75.2% from 2020 to 2021. The leading category for Polish exports was propelled by higher international sales of coal, refined petroleum oils and electrical energy.
In second place for improving export sales was iron steel as materials via a 73.2% gain.
Poland’s shipments of electrical machinery and equipment posted the third-fastest boost in value up by 33.9%.
Year over year, the most modest increase among Poland’s top 10 export categories was vehicles thanks to its 10.3% expansion.
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Poland’s most valuable export products are automobile parts or accessories (4.5%), electric storage batteries (2.8%), seats (2.3%) excluding barber and dentist chairs, computers including optical readers (2.2%), miscellaneous furniture (2.1%), TV receivers, monitors or projectors (2%), cigarettes or cigars (1.3%), cars (also 1.3%), insulated wire or cable (1.2%) and trucks (1.2%).
Countries Generating Biggest Trade Surpluses for Poland
The following types of Polish 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$11.9 billion (Up by 16% since 2020)
- Meat: $4.5 billion (Up by 21.7%)
- Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $3.7 billion (Up by 2.5%)
- Ships, boats: $3.1 billion (Up by 42.8%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $2.9 billion (Up by 8.4%)
- Copper: $2.7 billion (Up by 52.9%)
- Meat/seafood preparations: $2.1 billion (Up by 13.9%)
- Cereal/milk preparations: $1.73 billion (Up by 4.1%)
- Wood: $1.73 billion (Up by 16.8%)
- Cereals: $1.72 billion (Up by 23.1%)
Poland has highly positive net exports in the international trade of chairs, mattresses, prefabricated buildings and lighting-related goods. In turn, these cashflows indicate Poland’s strong competitive advantages under the related product category.
Countries Causing Worst Trade Deficits for Poland
Poland earned an overall -$17.6 billion trade deficit in 2021, up 3,486% from the -$491.4 million in red ink one year earlier for 2020.
Below are exports from Poland that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Poland’s goods trail Polish importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$13.9 billion (Up by 47.3% since 2020)
- Iron, steel: -$7.8 billion (Up by 81.3%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$5.4 billion (Down by -0.5%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$5.4 billion (Up by 89.4%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$4.9 billion (Up by 9.1%)
- Organic chemicals: -$2.9 billion (Up by 52.1%)
- Inorganic chemicals: -$2.2 billion (Up by 63.3%)
- Ores, slag, ash: -$1.5 billion (Up by 51.9%)
- Aluminum: -$1.4 billion (Up by 65.8%)
- Fruits, nuts: -$951.8 million (Down by -2.8%)
Poland has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for mineral fuels-related products notably from buying and selling crude oil on global markets.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Poland’s competitive disadvantages in the international energy market, but also represent key opportunities for Poland to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations particularly alternative energy sources.
Poland’s Major Export Companies
Seven corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Polish companies that Forbes included.
- KGHM Polska Miedz (diversified metals, mining)
- Pgnig Group (oil, gas)
- PKN Orlen (oil, gas)
Global trade intelligence firm Zepol mentions the following companies as examples of Polish export companies.
- Cimir Poland (seats, furniture parts)
- Nexter Automotive Poland S P Zoo (steering mechanisms, synchronous belts, goods transportation vehicles)
- Radiatym Bogdar Tymkiewicz (iron and stainless steel fittings, frozen fish fillets, palmitic/stearic acid)
- Tristone Flowtech Poland (tubes/pipes/hoses, latex, rubber transmission belts)
In macroeconomic terms, Poland’s total exported goods represent 22.2% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2021 ($1.430 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 22.2% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2021 compares to 21.2% for 2020. This suggests a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Poland’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Poland’s average unemployment rate was 3.5% for 2021, up from an average 3.2% in 2020 to the International Monetary Fund.
Poland’s capital city is Warsaw.
See also Poland’s Top Trading Partners, Poland’s Top 10 Imports, Czech Republic’s Top Trading Partners and Germany’s Top Trading Partners
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on June 12, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 12, 2022
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (Domestic Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on June 12, 2022
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 12, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 12, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 12, 2022
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 12, 2022
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Poland. Accessed on June 12, 2022
Wikipedia, Poland. Accessed on June 12, 2022
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 12, 2022
Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on June 12, 2022