Serbia flag Serbia: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Serbia

Foreign Trade in Figures

Serbia is gradually becoming more open to international trade, which represents 139% of GDP (World Bank, latest data available). The Stabilization and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia and the steady growth of foreign direct investment inflows have led to a constant increase in the volume of foreign trade. The country’s main exports are electrical machines and apparatus (11.3%); metal ores and residues (6.9%); power engines and motors (5%); iron and steel (4.4%); and fruit and vegetables (4.2%); whereas imports are led by oil and oil derivatives (7.7%); electrical machines and apparatus (6.1%); natural gas (4.4%); electricity (4.1%); and medical and pharmaceutical products (3.9% - data Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, 2022).

The country's main customers are Germany (13.7%), Bosnia-Herzegovina (7.5%), Italy (7.2%), Hungary (5.4%), and Romania (4.4%). Its main suppliers are China (12.1%), Germany (7.4%), Russia (7.5%), Italy (6.6%) and Hungary (5.6% - data Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia 2022). Serbia is the largest Western Balkan trade partner of the European Union. Observed by regions, the largest share in export of Serbia was noted in Vojvodine (33.6%), followed by Beogradski (23.3%), Šumadije and Zapadne Srbije (21.0%), and Južne and Istočne Srbije (19.9%).

Serbia has a structural trade deficit that amounted to 11% of GDP in 2022, according to the World Bank. A large portion of the deficit is due to investment-related imports. In 2022, exports of merchandise stood at USD 29 billion (+13.6% y-o-y), against USD 41.1 billion in imports (+21.7% y-o-y). In the same year, Serbia exported USD 11.6 billion worth of services, importing USD 9.1 billion (data WTO). According to figures from the Serbian statistical office, in 2023 the country's exports grew by 6.5% to USD 30.9 billion, while imports went down by 3.2% to USD 39.8 billion. The deficit amounted to USD 8.9 billion, which was a decrease of 26.4% in relation to the same period one year earlier.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 26,73026,23333,79741,14839,838
Exports of Goods (million USD) 19,63019,49825,56429,05830,935
Imports of Services (million USD) 6,6255,8227,5539,17010,882
Exports of Services (million USD) 7,7557,0859,20711,59414,123

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 109.5112.0104.7116.8137.6
Trade Balance (million USD) -5,983-6,289-5,941-7,094-9,901
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -4,813-5,159-4,677-5,441-7,478
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 10.810.7-3.617.717.8
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 7.57.7-4.219.517.6
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 59.160.956.562.374.2
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 50.451.048.254.563.5

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) 8.96.16.75.75.5
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 1.38.47.36.15.4

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
In international trade, Serbia shows a preference for relations with the EU and the United States. Nevertheless, the Serbian government also wants to develop privileged relations with its neighbors as proved by the bilateral treaties signed with Bulgaria and Romania. A free trade agreement has been signed as well with Belarus (2009) and Russia(2001).
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
Germany 13.7%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 7.5%
Hungary 5.4%
Romania 4.4%
Croatia 4.2%
See More Countries 64.9%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
China 12.1%
Germany 11.4%
Hungary 5.6%
Türkiye 5.2%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3.1%
See More Countries 62.5%

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

 
 

Main Products

29.1 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Insulated "incl. enamelled or anodised" wire,...Insulated "incl. enamelled or anodised" wire, cable "incl. coaxial cable" and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors; optical fibre cables, made up of individually sheathed fibres, whether or not assembled with electric conductors or fitted with connectors 6.5%
Copper ores and concentratesCopper ores and concentrates 6.1%
New pneumatic tyres, of rubberNew pneumatic tyres, of rubber 3.1%
Electrical energyElectrical energy 3.1%
Electric motors and generators (excl. generating...Electric motors and generators (excl. generating sets) 2.6%
See More Products 78.6%
41.1 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 5.5%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 4.4%
Electrical energyElectrical energy 4.1%
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%
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 1.9%
See More Products 80.9%

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

11.3 bn USD of services exported in 2022
25.50%
23.86%
23.08%
18.29%
3.10%
1.88%
1.79%
1.37%
0.87%
0.18%
0.08%
9.1 bn USD of services imported in 2022
30.26%
27.36%
19.91%
7.04%
6.92%
2.04%
1.80%
1.75%
1.07%
1.06%
0.79%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2024. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: May 2024

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