Overview In 2022 North Korea was the number 182 economy in the world in terms of total exports and the number 187 in total imports.

Exports The top exports of North Korea are Tungsten Ore ($30.9M), Refined Petroleum ($27.3M), Ferroalloys ($25.3M), Electricity ($20.4M), and Molybdenum Ore ($13.7M), exporting mostly to China ($131M), Senegal ($26.9M), Nigeria ($14M), Poland ($9.58M), and Netherlands ($7.8M).

Imports The top imports of North Korea are Soybean Oil ($48.8M), Rubber Tires ($44.3M), Packaged Medicaments ($41.3M), Light Rubberized Knitted Fabric ($34M), and Rice ($33.2M), importing mostly from China ($894M), Zimbabwe ($2.8M), Netherlands ($2.41M), India ($1.74M), and Colombia ($1.63M).

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

Latest Trends

Latest Trade


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.

* Trade values are converted to USD using each month's exchange rate. For December 2023 data, the exchange rate from December 30, 2023 is used.

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Latest Data


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.

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Historical Data

Yearly Trade

Top Export (2022)Tungsten Ore$30.9M
Top Destination (2022)China$131M

In 2022, North Korea exported a total of $248M, making it the number 182 exporter in the world. During the last five reported years the exports of North Korea have changed by -$1.56B from $1.81B in 2017 to $248M in 2022.

The most recent exports are led by Tungsten Ore ($30.9M), Refined Petroleum ($27.3M), Ferroalloys ($25.3M), Electricity ($20.4M), and Molybdenum Ore ($13.7M). The most common destination for the exports of North Korea are China ($131M), Senegal ($26.9M), Nigeria ($14M), Poland ($9.58M), and Netherlands ($7.8M).

Explore Visualizations

Exports (2022)
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Destinations (2022)
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Market Growth

Fastest Growing Export Markets (2021 - 2022)
China$74.5M (+ 132%)
Nigeria$8.1M (+ 137%)
Mozambique$4.7M (+ 456%)
Fastest Growing Import Markets (2021 - 2022)
China$651M (+ 268%)
Zimbabwe$2.79M (+ 64.9k%)
Netherlands$1.97M (+ 440%)

Total Export Growth by Market (2021 - 2022)

Economic Complexity

Most Specialized Products by RCA Index

North Korea has a high level of specialization in Fake Hair (232), Molybdenum Ore (216), Watch Movements (180), Carbides (139), and Water and Gas Generators (112). 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

The highest complexity exports of North Korea according to the product complexity index (PCI) are Watch movements; complete and assembled (1.78), Tools, interchangeable; for hand tools, whether or not power-operated, or for machine... (1.68), X-ray, alpha, beta, gamma radiation apparatus; x-ray tubes, x-ray generators, high tension... (1.64), Silicones in primary forms (1.6), and Gaskets and similar joints of metal sheeting combined with other material or... (1.53). PCI measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters.

Export Opportunities by Relatedness

The top export opportunities for North Korea according to the relatedness index, were Oxometallic or Peroxometallic Acid Salts (0.1), Photographic Chemicals (0.1), Cyclic Hydrocarbons (0.1), Copper Alloys (0.1), and Photo Lab Equipment (0.099). 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.

Relatedness Space (2022)

Diversification Frontier


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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