Montenegro flag Montenegro: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Montenegro

Foreign Trade in Figures

Montenegro is a small country open to foreign trade, which represents around 105% of its GDP (World Bank, latest data available). In order to become a WTO member, Montenegro has established major trade policy reforms, which include the elimination of import quotas, the reduction of import licences and prohibitions, the streamlining of customs procedures and the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers. According to 2021 figures by Monstat, the country mainly exports non-ferrous metals (18.7%), electric current (14.7%), metalliferous ores and metal scrap (13.5%), and cork and wood (8%); while it imports chiefly petroleum oils (7.8%), medicament (6.2%) motor cars (5.9%), and electrical machinery (4.1%), even though imports are much diversified, reflecting the openness of the country and the weakness of its national production base.

The European Union as a whole is the main trading partner, accounting for 31.1% of total exports and 45.6% of imports (data Monstat 2021). Serbia (24.5%), Bosnia-Herzegovina (7.6%), Italy (5.8%), Kosovo  (5.4%), and Slovenia (5%) are the main destinations of Montenegro’s exports, whereas imports come chiefly from Serbia (20%), Germany (9.2%), Italy (6.2%), Greece (5.9%), and Croatia (5.5%). Montenegro and the EU signed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) on 15 October 2007, which is expected to ultimately lead Montenegro to become a member of the EU.

The country has a structural trade deficit: in 2021, Montenegro exported USD 515 million worth of goods against USD 2.9 billion in imports (+22.9% and +23%, respectively); whereas exports of services (at USD 1.8 billion) were higher than imports (USD 755 million – data WTO). In the same year, the trade deficit was estimated at 19.4% of the GDP (data World Bank). According to preliminary figures from Monstat, in 2022 the value of exports of goods was EUR 700.2 million and that of imports was EUR 3,5 billion. Compared to the same period one year earlier, exports increased by 60.2%, while imports rose by 41.3%. The coverage of import by export was 19.8% and it was higher compared to the coverage for the same period of the previous year (17.4%).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 3,0102,9092,4042,9563,704
Exports of Goods (million USD) 472465419515742
Imports of Services (million USD) 7387685747551,018
Exports of Services (million USD) 1,8321,9047781,8822,370

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 109.6108.887.0105.0128.7
Trade Balance (million USD) -2,414-2,311-1,873-2,262-2,788
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -1,319-1,176-1,669-1,135-1,436
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 9.22.7-20.113.721.3
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 6.95.8-47.681.922.7
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 66.765.061.062.276.0
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 42.943.826.042.852.7

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 12.60.50.60.90.9
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 10.42.42.83.23.4

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Montenegro benefits from the European Union ATP protocol (Autonomous Trade Preferences) which allows it to export to the EU without Customs duties on 95% of products.

 

The country has signed a free trade agreement CEFTA which gives it access to the south-east free market, which represents 30 million consumers.

The free trade treaty signed with Russia allows Montenegrin products free access to Russia, that is to a market of 150 million consumers.

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
Serbia 21.3%
Switzerland 15.4%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 12.9%
Slovenia 7.3%
Luxembourg 5.2%
See More Countries 37.8%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
Serbia 17.4%
China 9.3%
Greece 8.3%
Germany 7.7%
Croatia 6.1%
See More Countries 51.2%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

0.7 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Unwrought aluminiumUnwrought aluminium 24.4%
Electrical energyElectrical energy 24.3%
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) 4.7%
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 3.9%
Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled,...Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed, of a thickness of > 6 mm 3.9%
See More Products 38.7%
3.7 bn USD of products imported in 2022
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 10.9%
Electrical energyElectrical energy 5.9%
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) 3.9%
Unwrought aluminiumUnwrought aluminium 3.2%
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) 3.1%
See More Products 73.0%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. 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, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: December 2023