Imports and exports in EU less concentrated on top traders

Between 2012 and 2019, the share of the top 20 enterprises in trade value fell in the majority of EU Member States, both for imports and exports of goods. By comparing the size of the share of top importers and exporters in terms of the total value of imports and exports of goods, the role and impact of key traders can be analysed.

International trade in goods is a key factor for growth in modern economies. Eurostat has combined statistics on international trade in goods with business statistics, enabling new and deeper analyses of the enterprises involved in imports and exports, and of the relations between trade and the economy.

The share of the top 20 enterprises in the total value of imports of goods decreased between 2012 and 2019 in 22 of the 27 Member States. The largest decreases in concentration of imports were recorded in Luxembourg and Bulgaria (both -10 percentage points (pp)). Luxembourg had previously registered the highest concentration in 2012.

Lithuania and Croatia (both -9 pp; Croatia 2018 data instead of 2019) also registered substantially lower concentration of imports. The fall in imports concentration was close to zero for Austria, Denmark and Romania.
In contrast, the share of the top 20 enterprises in imports value increased between 2012 and 2019 for Malta (+7 pp, 2018 data instead of 2019), Belgium (+6 pp), Ireland (+4 pp, 2013 data instead of 2012), Slovenia (+3 pp) and Latvia (+0.1 pp).

Malta was also the Member State with the highest concentration of imports.

Exports of goods became less concentrated between 2012 and 2019, although the development varied more than for imports. In 14 of the 27 EU Member States, the share of the top 20 exporters in total exports value decreased between 2012 and 2019.

Indeed, concentration of exports decreased by 10 pp or more for Finland (-14 pp), Lithuania, Bulgaria and Croatia (all -10 pp). At the other end of the scale, the increase in concentration of exports was most pronounced in Malta, where the share increased by more than 16 pp (2018 data instead of 2019). Exports became considerably more concentrated also in Belgium (+10 pp) and Ireland (+9 pp, 2013 data instead of 2012). No other Member State registered an increase of more than 5 pp.

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