Belarus flag Belarus: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Belarus

Foreign Trade in Figures

The Belarusian economy is both largely state-owned (more than 70% of GDP is generated by public or parastatal enterprises) and very open to international trade, which accounts for 120.7% of GDP (World Bank, latest data available). The main products exported by Belarus are petroleum oils other than crude (9.4%), mineral or chemical potassium fertilizers (8.3%), cheese and curd (3.6%), and motor vehicles for the transport of goods (2.1%). The country’s imports are led by petroleum oils (11.9%), petroleum gas (7.7%), motorized vehicles for the transport of passengers (2.8%), and medicaments (1.7%).

Belarus’ main trading partners in 2020 were the Russian Federation (44.6%), Ukraine (10.8%), Poland (4.3%), Lithuania (3.5%), and Germany (3.1%); whereas imports arrived chiefly from Russia (49.6%), China (11.1%) Germany (5.1%), Ukraine (4.2%), and Poland (3.8%). As a legacy of the Soviet era, during which Belarus was the workshop of the USSR, the Russian and Belarusian production structures remained very complementary. As a result, the Belarusian economy is still strongly concentrated on the Russian market, both as a natural outlet and as its main supplier. Recently, trade ties with China have strengthened, as Beijing is looking for partners for its New Silk Road project; whereas the European Union, Belarus' second-largest trading partner, announced that it would not ratify the bilateral partnership and cooperation agreement with the country due to “Belarus' lack of commitment to democracy and political and civil rights”.

The country’s balance of trade has been fluctuating in recent years. In 2020, Belarus exported USD 29 billion worth of goods (-12% y-o-y) and USD 8.7 billion of commercial services (-8.8%), importing USD 32.6 billion (-17.4% y-o-y) and USD 4.9 billion (-15.6%), respectively (data by WTO). According to figures from the World Bank, Belarus registered a trade surplus of 3.1% of GDP in 2020 (from a deficit of 0.6% one year earlier), thanks to the sharp drop in imports. According to preliminary figures from Belstat, in the period January – November 2021 the turnover of foreign trade in goods totalled USD 73.4 billion (+32.8% y-o-y), of which exports accounted for USD 36.1 billion (+38%) and imports for USD 37.3 billion (+28.2%).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 27,57334,23538,44039,48032,601
Exports of Goods (million USD) 23,34029,24033,90732,96029,034
Imports of Services (million USD) 4,2474,7725,3995,8424,927
Exports of Services (million USD) 6,8137,8188,8179,6248,775

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 125.2133.4139.4130.9120.7
Trade Balance (million USD) -2,511-2,979-2,503-4,193-1,969
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -9100929-4031,882
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -1.411.17.35.1-7.2
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2.67.53.81.0-3.1
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 62.766.668.965.858.8
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 62.566.870.565.161.9

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 8.40.51.71.81.5
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 4.10.61.73.91.5

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Belarus is member of:
- The Eurasian Economic Union
- The Eurasian Economic Community
- The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) 
Belarus also signed in 2009 a Free Trade Agreement with Serbia.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
Russia 44.6%
Ukraine 10.8%
Poland 4.3%
Lithuania 3.5%
Germany 3.1%
See More Countries 33.7%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
Russia 49.6%
China 11.1%
Germany 5.1%
Ukraine 4.2%
Poland 3.8%
See More Countries 26.2%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

29.2 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 9.4%
Mineral or chemical potassic fertilizers (excl....Mineral or chemical potassic fertilizers (excl. those in pellet or similar forms, or in packages with a gross weight of <= 10 kg) 8.3%
Cheese and curdCheese and curd 3.6%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl....Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 2.1%
Tractors (other than tractors of heading 8709)Tractors (other than tractors of heading 8709) 2.0%
See More Products 74.5%
32.8 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 11.9%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 7.7%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 2.8%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 1.7%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 1.5%
See More Products 74.4%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

Return to top

Any Comment About This Content? Report It to Us.

 

© Export Entreprises SA, All Rights Reserved.
Latest Update: July 2022