Applying a continental lens, 88.6% of Poland’s exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 5.6% were sold to importers in Asia. Poland shipped another 3.6% worth of goods to North America.
Tinier percentages went to Africa (1.2%), Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (0.6%) then Oceania led by Australia (0.4%).
Poland’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Poland’s top trading partners in terms of exports sales. These are countries that imported the most Polish shipments by dollar value during 2020. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Polish exports.
- Germany: US$78.4 billion (28.9% of Poland’s total exports)
- Czech Republic: $15.8 billion (5.8%)
- United Kingdom: $15.5 billion (5.7%)
- France: $15.1 billion (5.6%)
- Italy: $11.8 billion (4.3%)
- Netherlands: $11.5 billion (4.2%)
- Russia: $8.2 billion (3%)
- Sweden: $7.9 billion (2.9%)
- United States: $7.7 billion (2.8%)
- Spain: $6.9 billion (2.5%)
- Hungary: $6.8 billion (2.5%)
- Slovakia: $6.7 billion (2.5%)
- Belgium: $6.4 billion (2.4%)
- Ukraine: $6 billion (2.2%)
- Romania: $5.7 billion (2.1%)
Over three-quarters (77.6%) of Polish exports in 2020 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Hungary was the only top importers that decreased its purchases from Poland from 2019 to 2020, down in value by -2.7%. Among the other 14 countries, gains ranged from a minimum of 0.6% for Italy up to 14% for Sweden.
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.
Poland incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- China: -US$23.2 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2020)
- Netherlands: -$4.2 billion
- South Korea: -$3.9 billion
- Russia: -$3.2 billion
- Belgium: -$3.1 billion
- Japan: -$1.4 billion
- Vietnam: -$1.1 billion
- Bangladesh: -$1.1 billion
- Italy: -$1.1 billion
- Taiwan: -$890.3 million
Among Poland’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Polish deficits with Italy increased by 76.1% from 2019 to 2020.
In addition, Poland went from a $1.8 billion surplus in 2019 trading with the Netherlands to incurring a -$4.2 billion deficit in 2020. Similarly, Polish trade with Belgium reversed $274.4 million in black ink for 2019 to record -$3.1 in losses during 2020.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Poland’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Poland to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Poland earned an overall $13.9 billion trade surplus in 2020, up 166.4% from $5.2 billion one year earlier.
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.
Poland earned the highest trade surpluses at the expense of the following countries.
- United Kingdom: US$9.5 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2020)
- Germany: $7.7 billion
- Czech Republic: $6 billion
- France: $5.4 billion
- Romania: $3.4 billion
- Ukraine: $3.1 billion
- United States: $3 billion
- Sweden: $2.6 billion
- Lithuania: $2.3 billion
- Hungary: $2.2 billion
Among Poland’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Polish surpluses with Ukraine (up 30.6%), Lithuania (up 24.6%) and Romania (up 15.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2019 to 2020.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Poland’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Poland to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Polish Trading Partners
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)
According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following companies are examples of export companies located in Poland. Shown within parenthesis is the product category that the Polish business specializes in.
- Ambra SA (sparking wines)
- BIP SP (diesel heaters)
- EWAX SC (undershirts, knitwear)
- GENATA SP (laundry detergent)
- POLSKA GRUPA MEBLOWA FURINI (furniture)
- PPHU BIURO-DRUK Fialkowska Aurelia (leather cases)
- STRAIGHTLINE TRADE LIMITED SP (water purification equipment)
- TOMASZ RONATOWICZ TOP SOCZEWKI (watches)
- Zbyszko Company SP (sparkling water)
See also Poland’s Top 10 Imports, Poland’s Top 10 Exports and Top EU Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 1, 2021
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 1, 2021
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 1, 2021
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 1, 2021
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Poland. Accessed on April 1, 2021
Wikipedia, Poland. Accessed on April 1, 2021
Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on April 1, 2021