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Serbia’s Key Trading Partners Remain Unchanged: Germany, China, and Italy Lead the Way

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In 2023, Serbia’s most significant foreign trade partners were Germany, China, and Italy, contributing to a total trade deficit of 4.7 billion euros. Last year, goods exported to Germany exceeded 4.3 billion euros, with the most significant export items being rotary electric machines (constituting 18.7% of exports), followed by equipment for distributing electric power (with a share of 13.9%), parts and accessories for motor vehicles (7.9% of exports), and railway vehicles and equipment (4.6% of exports).

The remaining 54.9% consists of all other products, as seen in the “Current Macroeconomic Trends” report published by the Ministry of Finance.

On the other hand, the goods imported from Germany to Serbia in 2023 amounted to approximately 4.8 billion euros. The most significant goods imported included passenger cars, pharmaceuticals, and electrical apparatus for electrical circuits.

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Goods exported to China amounted to over 1.1 billion euros, with copper ores and concentrates (68.1% of the export) and copper (24.3% of the export) dominating Serbia’s exports to China. Other significant exports to China included processed wood (with a 2.1% share in exports to China) and electrical apparatus for electrical circuits (0.6% share in exports).

On the other hand, the goods imported from China to Serbia in 2023 amounted to 4.5 billion euros. The most significant products imported to Serbia included telecommunication equipment, machinery for AOP (activities of production), electrical machinery, and electrical apparatus for electrical circuits.

When it comes to goods exported to Italy, their value amounted to 1.77 billion euros.

The most significant export products to Italy included clothing, footwear, automobile tires, furniture, and parts. Serbia imported approximately 2.7 billion euros worth of goods from Italy, including leather, copper, plastic products, and machinery for certain industrial branches.

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Russia is also among the top five trading partners of Serbia. The value of goods exported to Russia in 2023 amounted to 1.1 billion euros.

The most significant export products to Russia were electrical and non-electrical household equipment (constituting 10.4% of the total product exports to that country), textile clothing accessories with 7.4%, and animal feed (excluding grain) with a 6.6% share in exports to Russia.

On the other hand, goods worth 1.6 billion euros were imported from Russia to Serbia in 2023, with the most significant imports being gas, fertilizers, and tobacco.

List of the 15 largest exporters in Serbia

The largest exporters in Serbia in 2023 were Ziđin Mining (export value of 1.15 billion euros), Ziđin Bor Copper (export value of 746.3 million euros), HBIS Group (export value of 549.1 million euros), ZF Serbia (export value of 504.8 million euros), Leoni (export value of 489.3 million euros), Tigar Tyres (454.9 million euros), Robert Bosch (453.1 million euros).

Among the top 15 exporters are also Henkel Serbia, Jura, Naftna Industrija Srbije, Hemofarm, SCM Power, Philip Morris, Mint Automotive, Gorenje…

The total merchandise exports in Serbia in 2023 amounted to 28.6 billion euros, while merchandise imports amounted to 36.9 billion euros.

The coverage of imports by exports increased to 77.7% compared to 70.8% in the previous year.

In 2023, merchandise exports increased by 3.7% (or one billion euros), with exports from the processing industry rising by 5.4% (1.3 billion euros).

The highest growth in export activity within the processing industry was recorded in the automotive (21.1%), electrical (14.3%), and machinery industries (22.4%), while positive contributions were also noted in the metal (20.0%) and tobacco industries (20.8%).

During the same period, there was a 5.5% decline in merchandise imports, observed in 15 out of 23 sectors of the processing industry. The main contributors to the overall decline in merchandise imports were a 11.4% year-on-year drop in the import of raw materials, coupled with a simultaneous 6.7% decrease in equipment imports. On the other hand, the import of consumer goods recorded an increase of 5.3%.

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