Flag North Korea

Overview In 2020 North Korea was the number 184 economy in the world in terms of total exports and the number 186 in total imports.

Exports The top exports of North Korea are Electrical Insulators ($17.5M), Electric Batteries ($16.9M), Electricity ($11.8M), Ferroalloys ($10.4M), and Video Displays ($9.69M), exporting mostly to China ($44.1M), Burma ($24M), Poland ($20.6M), Nigeria ($6.57M), and Luxembourg ($5.09M).

Imports The top imports of North Korea are Soybean Oil ($70.1M), Wheat Flours ($37.6M), Raw Sugar ($34.5M), Processed Tobacco ($22M), and Packaged Medicaments ($21.9M), importing mostly from China ($491M), Russia ($41M), Democratic Republic of the Congo ($7.08M), India ($4.34M), and Switzerland ($2.68M).

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

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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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Data is presented based on data availability. Only countries using the Harmonic System (HS) are selected. Every source is shown using their own latest twelve months of data.

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

Historical Data

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Top Export (2020): Electrical Insulators, $17.5M

Top Destination (2020): China, $491M

In 2020, North Korea exported a total of $142M, making it the number 184 exporter in the world. During the last five reported years the exports of North Korea have changed by -$2.71B from $2.86B in 2015 to $142M in 2020.

The most recent exports are led by Electrical Insulators ($17.5M), Electric Batteries ($16.9M), Electricity ($11.8M), Ferroalloys ($10.4M), and Video Displays ($9.69M). The most common destination for the exports of North Korea are China ($44.1M), Burma ($24M), Poland ($20.6M), Nigeria ($6.57M), and Luxembourg ($5.09M).

Explore Visualizations

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Fastest Growing Export Markets (2019 - 2020)

Fastest Growing Import Markets (2019 - 2020)

Economic Complexity

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Most Specialized Products by RCA Index

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North Korea has a high level of specialization in Watch Movements (1.05k), Electrical Insulators (864), Fake Hair (85.4), Wind Instruments (73), and Vegetable and Mineral Carvings (65.1). 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

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Export Opportunities by Relatedness

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The top export opportunities for North Korea according to the relatedness index, are Cast or Rolled Glass (0.11), Telephones (0.11), Broadcasting Accessories (0.1), Semiconductor Devices (0.1), and Printed Circuit Boards (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.

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

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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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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.