Applying a continental lens, 85.2% of Romania’s exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 9.6% were sold to importers in Asia.
Tinier percentages went to Africa (2.2%), North America (2.1%), Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (0.4%) then Oceania led by Australia and New Zealand (0.2%).
Romania’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Romania’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Romanian shipments by dollar value during 2020. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Romanian exports.
- Germany: US$16.1 billion (22.8% of Romania’s total exports)
- Italy: $7.6 billion (10.7%)
- France: $4.8 billion (6.8%)
- Hungary: $3.5 billion (5%)
- Poland: $2.7 billion (3.8%)
- Bulgaria: $2.6 billion (3.6%)
- Netherlands: $2.5 billion (3.6%)
- United Kingdom: $2.4 billion (3.4%)
- Turkey: $2.3 billion (3.3%)
- Czech Republic: $2.2 billion (3.1%)
- Spain: $2.1 billion (3%)
- Austria: $1.7 billion (2.4%)
- Slovakia: $1.5 billion (2.2%)
- Belgium: $1.4 billion (2%)
- Moldova: $1.2 billion (1.7%)
Over three-quarters (77.2%) of Romanian exports in 2020 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Only two top countries increased their purchases of Romanian exports, namely the Netherlands (up 6.9%) and Belgium (up 1.3%).
The severest declines year over year belonged to the United Kingdom (down -17.7%), Moldova (down -15.5%) and Italy (down -13.3%).
Romania incurred an overall -$21.4 billion trade deficit during 2020, up 10.6% from the -$19.3 billion in red ink one year earlier.
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.
Romania incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- China: -US$5 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2020.)
- Hungary: -$3.2 billion
- Poland: -$3 billion
- Germany: -$2.9 billion
- Turkey: -$1.6 billion
- Austria: -$1.2 billion
- Kazakhstan: -$1.2 billion
- Russia: -$1.1 billion
- Netherlands: -$1 billion
- Belgium: -$887.9 million
Among Romania’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Romanian deficits with Germany (up 36%), China (up 18.3%) and Hungary (up 3.7%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Romania’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Romania to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
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.
Romania incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- United Kingdom: US$782.8 million (country-specific trade surplus in 2020.)
- France: $528.5 million
- Norway: $470.3 million
- Saudi Arabia: $435 million
- Moldova: $390 million
- Israel: $326.6 million
- Egypt: $316.1 million
- Morocco: $297.6 million
- United States: $291.5 million
- Jordan: $279 million
Among Romania’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Romanian surpluses with Saudi Arabia (up 62.2%), Norway (up 25.7%) and Jordan (up 17.5%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Romania’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Romania to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Romanian Trading Partners
Not one Romanian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists Romanian companies engaged in international trade. Selected examples are shown below.
- Antibiotice Iași (pharmaceuticals)
- Arctic S.A. (household appliances)
- Automobile Dacia (cars)
- Daewoo-Mangalia Heavy Industries DMHI (ships)
- European Drinks & Foods (food, beverages)
- Farmec (cosmetics, personal hygiene)
- Jolidon (lingerie, swimsuits)
- Roman (trucks, buses)
- Romstal (sanitary wear)
- Tehnoton (home electronics, machinery)
See also Romania’s Top 10 Exports and Top EU Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Europe: Romania. Accessed on April 1, 2021
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 1, 2021
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). 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, Romania. Accessed on April 1, 2021
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Romania. Accessed on April 1, 2021