Denmark flag Denmark: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Denmark

Foreign Trade in Figures

Denmark has historically been renowned as a nation of traders, with an economy extremely open to foreign trade: in 2020, trade represented 103% of the country’s GDP (World Bank – latest data available). Denmark mainly exports pharmaceutical products, meat, and electric generating sets and rotary converters (wind turbines, of which Denmark is the leading manufacturer worldwide). Its main imports are motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, automatic data processing machines, telephones, and petroleum oils. The country is the world’s fifth-largest shipping operator and transportation was the main imported and exported service in 2020.

According to data by Comtrade, in 2020 Denmark’sa main trading partners were Germany (12.6%), Sweden (8.7%), the Netherlands (5.8%), Norway (5.7%), the United Kingdom and the US (both at 5.6%). The country’s imports principal origins were Germany (21.9%), Sweden (12.6%), the Netherlands (8.5%), China (7.8%) and Poland (4.5%). Considered as a whole, the European Union was Denmark’s main importing and exporting partner.

Denmark has a structural trade balance surplus (2009 being the last time the country had a negative balance). In 2020, Denmark exported goods worth USD 108.2 billion and USD 74.4 billion of services (-2.3% and -10.5%, respectively), while imports remained stable at USD 97.5 billion for goods and decreased to USD 69,4 billion for services (-8.5% y-o-y – data WTO). According to data by the World Bank, in 2020 the overall trade surplus for goods and services stood at around 6.5% of GDP. Figures from Statistics Denmark show that in the first three quarters of 2021 imports grew 4.2% y-o-y, with exports growing at a faster pace (+6.9%).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 93,314102,60597,82497,561120,307
Exports of Goods (million USD) 102,559109,711110,779108,274125,945
Imports of Services (million USD) 61,92472,87975,86669,42481,723
Exports of Services (million USD) 66,47481,12983,16874,44093,382

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 100.2103.0107.0110.6103.3
Trade Balance (million USD) 17,01115,01012,39818,17618,208
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 20,92323,87920,86225,70321,204
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 3.74.25.13.0-4.1
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 4.14.83.45.0-7.0
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 46.747.950.451.648.4
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 53.455.156.659.054.9

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 2.40.32.72.62.6
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 2.11.22.82.72.5

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Denmark is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, European Union, WTO, G-9, ICC, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), OECD, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Denmark click here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Denmark can be consulted here.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2021
Germany 12.9%
Sweden 9.3%
Norway 5.7%
United Kingdom 5.0%
United States 4.7%
See More Countries 62.3%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2021
Germany 20.6%
Sweden 12.6%
Netherlands 8.2%
China 8.0%
Poland 4.4%
See More Countries 46.1%

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

 
 

Main Products

125.0 bn USD of products exported in 2021
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) 12.7%
Meat of swine, fresh, chilled or frozenMeat of swine, fresh, chilled or frozen 2.5%
Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic...Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic uses; antisera and other blood fractions and immunological products, whether or not modified or obtained by means of biotechnological processes; vaccines, toxins, cultures of micro-organisms (excl. yeasts) and similar products 2.4%
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 2.0%
Electric generating sets and rotary convertersElectric generating sets and rotary converters 1.6%
See More Products 78.7%
121.8 bn USD of products imported in 2021
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) 4.7%
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) 3.6%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 3.5%
Automatic data-processing machines and units...Automatic data-processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 2.5%
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 2.1%
See More Products 83.6%

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

75.2 bn USD of services exported in 2020
56.94%
13.76%
8.06%
6.86%
5.28%
5.19%
1.11%
0.97%
0.92%
0.48%
0.43%
69.6 bn USD of services imported in 2020
47.08%
22.82%
10.19%
8.11%
3.66%
2.94%
2.38%
1.20%
0.85%
0.59%
0.18%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: November 2022