07.Apr .2022 11:30

Trade surplus in medicinal products records high in the EU

Trade surplus in medicinal products records high in the EU
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Between 2002 and 2021, exports of medicinal and pharmaceutical products in the EU have grown considerably, more than imports, which also displayed a steady growth. Exports have increased from €50 billion in 2002 to €235 billion in 2021, while imports grew from €32 billion to €100 billion in the same period. With extra-EU exports growing more than imports, the EU’s trade surplus in medicinal and pharmaceutical products reached €136 billion, the highest value since 2002 (€18 billion).

Among the EU Member States (ranked by total trade in million €), Germany was the largest exporter (€56 billion) in 2021, followed by Belgium (€46 billion) and Ireland (€38 billion). On the other hand, Belgium (€19 billion), Germany (€18 billion) and the Netherlands (€15 billion) were the largest importers of medicinal and pharmaceutical products, Eurostat reports.

USA and Switzerland remain main EU trade partners

The main destination of extra-EU exports of medicinal and pharmaceutical products in 2021 was the United States, accounting for almost a third (32%) of these exports, followed at a distance by Switzerland (12%), the United Kingdom (7%) and China (6%).

Imports of these products to the EU came mainly from Switzerland (accounting for 36% of EU imports of these products) and the United States (30%), followed by China and the United Kingdom (both 8%).

With regard to trade between the EU and the United States, between 2002 and 2021, exports of medicinal and pharmaceutical products grew by almost 9% per year and imports grew by 5% per year. During this whole period, the trade balance has been in favour of the EU, registering a peak of €48 billion in 2020 and decreasing to €46 billion in 2021.

As for Switzerland, EU exports also grew by 9% per year, while imports grew by 8% per year, between 2002 and 2021. Over the same period, the EU had a trade deficit that peaked at €8 billion in 2009, 2012, 2019 and 2021.