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Overview In 2021 North Korea was the number 186 economy in the world in terms of total exports and the number 200 in total imports.

Exports The top exports of North Korea are Refined Petroleum ($37.4M), Ferroalloys ($25.6M), Electricity ($16.9M), Cars ($9.43M), and Vaccines, blood, antisera, toxins and cultures ($6.31M), exporting mostly to China ($56.3M), Senegal ($36.8M), Poland ($9.9M), Tanzania ($8.36M), and Luxembourg ($6.93M).

Imports The top imports of North Korea are Packaged Medicaments ($19.1M), Processed Tobacco ($16.4M), Rubber Tires ($15.2M), Mixed Mineral or Chemical Fertilizers ($13M), and Nitrogenous Fertilizers ($11.2M), importing mostly from China ($260M), United Arab Emirates ($2.14M), Thailand ($1.6M), Hong Kong ($1.37M), and Zambia ($1.21M).

Location North Korea borders China, South Korea, and Russia by land and Japan by sea.

Latest Trends

Latest Trade

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Y-AXIS SCALE

The following section uses the most recent trade data from partners of North Korea.

Disclaimer: data is presented based on availability and only countries that use the harmonized system are being shown.

*All data is converted to USD using January 2020 exchange rates when data is reported in local currency.

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Latest Data

Flow
Color
Depth

The data obtained is mirror data. The trade of countries that do not report current data can be reconstructed based on data reported by partner countries with current data available.

*All data is converted to USD using January 2020 exchange rates when data is reported in local currency.

Subscribe today to OEC pro and access the latest data

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Subscribe today to OEC pro and access the latest data

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Historical Data

Yearly Trade

Flow
Color
Depth
Top Export (2021)Refined Petroleum$37.4M
Top Destination (2021)China$56.3M

In 2021, North Korea exported a total of $181M, making it the number 186 exporter in the world. During the last five reported years the exports of North Korea have changed by -$2.54B from $2.72B in 2016 to $181M in 2021.

The most recent exports are led by Refined Petroleum ($37.4M), Ferroalloys ($25.6M), Electricity ($16.9M), Cars ($9.43M), and Vaccines, blood, antisera, toxins and cultures ($6.31M). The most common destination for the exports of North Korea are China ($56.3M), Senegal ($36.8M), Poland ($9.9M), Tanzania ($8.36M), and Luxembourg ($6.93M).

Explore Visualizations

Exports (2021)
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Destinations (2021)
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Market Growth

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Fastest Growing Export Markets (2020 - 2021)
Senegal$36.1M (+ 5.42k%)
China$12.3M (+ 27.9%)
Zambia$5.48M (+ 777%)
Fastest Growing Import Markets (2020 - 2021)
United Arab Emirates$1.44M (+ 207%)
Zambia$1.21M (+ 60k%)
Hong Kong$685k (+ 100%)

Total Export Growth by Market (2020 - 2021)

Economic Complexity

Most Specialized Products by RCA Index

North Korea has a high level of specialization in Watch Movements (383), Stranded Aluminium Wire (355), Potato Flours (295), Wind Instruments (73.4), and Ferroalloys (68.9). Specialization is measured using RCA, an index that takes the ratio between North Korea observed and expected exports in each product.

Most Complex Products by PCI

Export Opportunities by Relatedness

The top export opportunities for North Korea according to the relatedness index, were Photographic Chemicals (0.11), Cyclic Hydrocarbons (0.11), Halogenated Hydrocarbons (0.11), Blank Audio Media (0.1), and Photo Lab Equipment (0.1). Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product. The barchart show only products that North Korea is not specialized in.

Product Space

The product space is a network connecting products that are likely to be co-exported. The product space can be used to predict future exports, since countries are more likely to start exporting products that are related to current exports. Relatedness measures the distance between a product, and all of the products a country currently specializes in.

Relatedness Space

This network shows the products most related to the production structure of North Korea. These are products that tend to be co-exported with the products that North Korea exports. Higher relatedness values ​​indicate greater knowledge, which predicts a greater probability of exporting that product in the future.

Diversification Frontier

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Depth

The Complexity-Relatedness diagram compares the risk vs strategic value of a country's potential export oppotunities. Relatedness is predictive of the probability that a country increases its exports in a product. Complexity, is associated with higher levels of income, economic growth, less income inequality, and lower greenhouse emissions.

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