Portugal’s economy ranks number 47 in the world in terms of GDP in 2020. A member of the Eurozone, the majority of its international trade is done within the European Union. Portugal also ranks number 43 in total exports and number 40 in total imports.
Let’s take a look at the largest Portuguese imports and exports so you can get a sense of Portugal’s involvement in international trade.
Largest Portuguese Imports: Portugal’s Top 10 Imports
Portugal’s imports cost the country $97.5 billion in 2021, an over 23% increase since 2017. 77.1% of Portugal’s imports were purchased from other European countries, while 12.7% were supplied from Asia. Other imports came from Latin America (3.9%), Africa (3.5), North America (2.7%), and Oceania (0.1%).
Let’s take a look at Portugal’s 10 largest imports by value in 2021:
Mineral fuels: $11.2 billion
Vehicles: $9.4 billion
Electrical equipment: $9.3 billion
Other machinery (including computers): $8.6 billion
Plastic: $5.2 billion
Iron/Steel: $4.1 billion
Pharmaceuticals: $3.8 billion
Organic chemicals: $2.6 billion
Chemical goods: $2.3 billion
Fish: $2.1 billion
Mineral fuels take #1 on the list for 2021. The top mineral fuel products that Portugal imported in 2021 include crude oil ($4.8 billion), processed petroleum oils ($2.5 billion), and petroleum gases ($2.3 billion).
For #2 on this list, cars top the vehicle category at $4.1 billion, followed by automotive parts ($3.2 billion) and trucks ($595.2 million).
Largest Portuguese Exports: Portugal’s Top 10 Exports
In 2021, Portugal exported $75.1 billion worth of goods, around a 20% increase since 2017. Two-thirds of exports from Portugal were bought by Spain (26.7%), France (13.1%), Germany (11%), the USA (5.6%), the UK (5.2%), Italy (4.5%), Netherlands (3.9%), Belgium (2.5%), Angola (1.5%), Poland (1.4%), Morocco (1.4%), and Sweden (1.2%).
Along with most of the exports being delivered to European countries, 6.7% were sold to North America, 5.7% to Africa, and 5.4% to Asia.
Let’s take a look at Portugal’s 10 largest exports by value in 2021:
Vehicles: $9.5 billion
Electrical equipment: $5.8 billion
Other machinery (including equipment): $4.9 billion
Mineral fuels: $4.3 billion
Plastic: $4.2 billion
Knit & Clothing Accessories: $2.8 billion
Paper: $2.4 billion
Iron/Steel Articles: $2.3 billion
Furniture, lighting, prefabricated buildings: $2.3 billion
Iron and Steel: $2.1 billion
Energy in Portugal: Where does Portugal get its energy from?
Portugal still gets a lot of its energy from other countries. The country is still particularly reliant on imported fossil fuels, above the average of the EU with 65% of imports. Only 5% of these imports come from Russia.
All of Portugal’s gas is imported, predominantly from Nigeria and Algeria. The natural gas from Algeria arrives via the Maghreb-Europe Gas Pipeline (MEG), which links the Hassi R’Mel gas field through Morroco to Spanish and Portuguese gas grids.
The gas from Nigeria arrives from Nigeria LNG Limited, a liquefied natural gas company with a natural gas plant on Bonny Island.
Portugal’s economy ranks number 43 in total exports and number 40 in total imports in the world. When it comes to exports, Portugal’s economy heavily relies on leading Portuguese companies, including EDP (electric utilities), Galp Energia (oil and gas), and Jeronimo Martins (food).
Most of Portugal’s international trade is done within the EU, as well as other regional groups such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Portuguese-Speaking African Countries (PALOP), the Maghreb (Northwest Africa), and the Mercosul (Southern Common Market).