Bulgaria flag Bulgaria: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Bulgaria

Foreign Trade in Figures

Since joining the European Union, Bulgaria has experienced considerable growth in trade, despite a large trade imbalance and recurring deficits. The country is very open to foreign trade, which represents 110.6% of GDP (World Bank, latest data available). Bulgaria mainly exports refined and unrefined copper, petroleum oils, medicaments and wheat; while imports are led by copper ores, petroleum oils, medicaments, motor cars and telephones.

The country’s main trading partners in 2020 were Germany (16%), Romania (9.1%), Italy (6.9%), Greece (6.6%), and Turkey (6.4%); whereas imports came chiefly from Germany (12.1%), Romania (7.3%), Turkey (7.1%) Italy (7.1%), and Russia (6.1%).

According to the latest figures from WTO, in 2020 exports of goods declined by 4.3%, at USD 31.9 billion, with imports decreasing at a faster pace (-6.9%), totalling USD 35 billion. The country has a structural trade deficit; however, it is a net service exporter: the country exported USD 8.1 billion worth of services, importing only USD 4.7 billion in 2020. The World Bank estimates that in the same year Bulgaria’s trade balance was positive by 1.47% of GDP. Preliminary data by the National Statistical Institute show that in the first eleven months of 2021 the total value of exported goods amounted to BGN 61,992.4 million, which is 23.3% more than the same period of the previous year, while the total value of imported goods added up to BGN 69,356.5 million and grew by 26.3%.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 28,84634,18437,85637,66335,038
Exports of Goods (million USD) 25,97831,43833,61733,34031,907
Imports of Services (million USD) 4,5305,6885,9685,9474,735
Exports of Services (million USD) 8,4528,80210,83811,4028,116

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 123.1130.2129.1125.2110.6
Trade Balance (million USD) -1,095-867-3,201-3,256-2,175
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 2,5652,6091,6122,1991,198
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 5.27.45.75.2-6.6
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 8.65.81.73.9-11.3
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 59.162.963.361.054.4
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 64.067.365.864.256.1

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) 5.16.05.84.24.0
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 5.06.07.44.63.3

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Bulgaria is member of : the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, etc.

For further information, please consult the website of the Ministry of Economy of Bulgaria.

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
Germany 16.0%
Romania 9.1%
Italy 6.9%
Greece 6.6%
Turkey 6.4%
See More Countries 54.9%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
Germany 12.1%
Romania 7.3%
Turkey 7.1%
Italy 7.1%
Russia 6.1%
See More Countries 60.3%

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

 
 

Main Products

31.9 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Copper, refined, and copper alloys, unwrought ...Copper, refined, and copper alloys, unwrought (excl. copper alloys of heading 7405) 3.7%
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 3.5%
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) 3.3%
Copper, unrefined; copper anodes for electrolytic...Copper, unrefined; copper anodes for electrolytic refining 3.1%
Wheat and meslinWheat and meslin 2.2%
See More Products 84.2%
35.0 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Copper ores and concentratesCopper ores and concentrates 4.8%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 4.2%
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) 3.8%
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) 2.4%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 1.9%
See More Products 82.9%

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.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: July 2022