April 8, 2021 – Throughout the European Union (EU), the Republic of Croatia is in the top five EU markets, and in terms of its exports only to neighboring Slovenia.
As Poslovni Dnevnik / Marija Brnic writes, when it comes to the foreign trade relations of the European Union, the past year has been marked by the emergence of China as the very first partner, the place from which it displaced the United States, the bloc’s traditional main partner in the exchange of goods.
According to Eurostat, last year the European Union imported goods worth 383 billion euros from China, exported 203 billion euros, imported goods worth 203 billion euros from the United States, and 353 billion euros for export.
The US continues to be the main export market for goods from the EU, with China ranked third behind the UK. However, last year, compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, trade with the United States fell significantly in both exports and imports, which means that China, having increased its total volume, has taken the traditional first place that was previously held by the United States.
These ups and downs, of course, include Brexit, which has also left a notable mark on import-export statistics and is likely to continue to do so.
The turnaround among the EU’s major trading partners was fueled by increased demand in the second half of the year, mainly as a result of the robust recovery of the Chinese economy after the pandemic, while sales of European products in the US and UK markets fell sharply.
The need for masks has arisen in connection with the global spread of the coronavirus pandemic
Imports from China have also been fueled by the fact that the need for medical devices and PPE has arisen across the EU due to the spread of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. When analyzing data by country, China, unsurprisingly, is among the five largest EU markets (in terms of exports) for only two member countries – Germany and Ireland, while it is among the five main markets from which they import goods from thirteen countries.
The Netherlands, which imported 91 billion euros worth of goods, contributed most to China’s strong imports and growth last year, and China tops the list of commodity markets, Germany with 82 billion euros in imports, and China is the second largest import market after the nearby Netherlands.
Among the EU member states for which China is one of the main sales markets are Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden.
For the largest number of EU member states, of which sixteen, Germany is the main trading partner, among them Croatia, in which case Germany took this position last year from Italy, which was the country’s long-term main partner. On the other hand, Germany remains the main export market for seventeen other EU member states.
The exceptions are, for example, Lithuania, for which Russia is the main export market, and Poland, the main import market, and Estonia, for which Finland is the main partner, and Cyprus, which has the highest trade turnover with Greece, and Portugal, whose main market is partner – Spain.
For Spain, neighboring France is the largest buyer of goods, and Ireland is the main partner from which the United Kingdom purchases goods and the United States plays the same role, but for export. However, an important buyer for Ireland, mainly of high-tech products, is China, where the Irish economy last year accounted for 6 percent of total exports, equivalent to a whopping € 10 billion.
For Croatia’s two main trading partners, Germany and Italy, China is the second most important import market, while Germany’s number one import market is the Netherlands (€ 142 billion), and the United States remains the main export market (€ 104 billion). Euro).
As for German goods, last year China became the second export destination, while France fell to third place. In the case of Italy, Germany is the main destination for both exports and imports.
Slovenia is Croatia’s third trading partner, while neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary are ranked fourth and fifth on the list of export markets, while Hungary is also ranked fourth on the list of import markets, while Austria is ranked fifth.
The Republic of Croatia, on the other hand, is included in the list of the 5 largest markets / EU member states only for neighboring Slovenia, and this is exclusively for the export of their products. Otherwise, Slovenia’s main partner is Germany, while Switzerland is the second largest in both imports and exports, and Croatia is its fourth export market after Italy.
The first Eurostat trade data for 2021 shows that China could strengthen its leading position as the EU’s trading partner, which is unlikely to come as a shock to most.
At an annual rate, back in January, European exports to China increased 6.6 percent, down 3.8 percent, but exports to the US fell 10 percent and imports from the US were a quarter less. while the real dip can be seen in trade with the United Kingdom, whose exports fell 27 percent back in January and imports halved.
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