Armenia’s commodity structure of exports in 2021

The domestic economy, which found itself in a deep crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in 2020, started to show signs of “life” last year. One evidence was the revival of foreign trade. In particular, Armenia registered an unprecedented exports index in 2021, exceeding the threshold of $ 3 billion․ In 2021, exports from the country amounted to USD 3 billion 22 million, which exceeds the indicator of 2020 by around USD 480 million or 19%.

Exports by months

In almost all months of 2021, the export exceeded the index of the comparable month of 2020. The months of January and September are an exception.

In the last two months of 2021, a record volume of exports was recorded, at USD 299 and 303 million, respectively.

As mentioned, the 2020 pandemic and the war had a significant impact on almost all sectors of the economy. It becomes even more obvious when we compare with the indicators of the previous year.

The largest increase in exports in 2021 was registered in the very months when Armenia was in a lockdown or war in 2020. For example, in April the export index exceeded that of April 2020 by more than 66%, in November by 42%, etc.

Commodity structure of exports

As noted, last year the export of goods from Armenia increased by about 20%. If we look at the data by separate commodity groups, we can see that increase was registered in almost all groups.

Exports of mineral commodities having the largest share in exports increased by 20.6%, ready-made food by 10.8%.

Perhaps exceptions to large commodity groups are the export of precious and semi-precious stones, metals and articles made from them, which decreased by 9.8% compared to 2020, from $ 369 million to $ 333 million.

In contrast, the export of non-precious metals and articles made of them increased by 59%, and the export of live animals, products of plant origin and textiles increased by about 37%.

By the way, the growth of exports was greatly facilitated by the world increase in prices for goods, in particular, mineral commodities.

Export geography

Last year, exports increased to almost all major trading partners. As a result, for example, exports to the EEU countries increased by about USD 180 million or 25․2%. Commodities exported to EEU countries make up 29․4% of the goods exported from Armenia. For comparison, in 2020 this figure was 28%.

The lion’s share of goods exported to the EEU member states belongs to the Russian Federation – USD 847 million, which is an increase of about USD 167 million or 24.5% compared to the previous year. Mainly fresh and canned fish products, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, knitwear, stone tiles, diamonds, etc. are exported to Russia.

After a decline in the last few years, last year exports to EU member states increased for the first time. In 2020 only USD 430 million worth of goods were exported from Armenia to EU countries, while last year this figure increased more than 1.5 times, making USD 656 million.

The share of goods exported to the EU has also increased, from 16.9% to 21.7%.

Most of the Armenian products from EU member states are exported to Bulgaria (USD 198 million) and the Netherlands (USD 191 million). Other major trading partners are Germany (USD 78 million), Italy (USD 63.5 million), Belgium (USD 52 million), Poland (USD 20 million) and France (USD 11 million).

These countries mostly import molybdenum, copper, zinc ore and concentrate, aluminum foil, clothes and other textile items, diamonds, iron alloys from Armenia.

Among other countries, Armenia’s largest trade partner last year was China, with USD 393 million in exports. Compared to 2020, exports to China increased by more than USD 100 million or 3.7%. Armenia mainly sells copper and molybdenum ore and concentrate to China.

The other major trading partner, Switzerland, last year imported goods worth about USD 360 million from Armenia (mainly copper ore, concentrate), which is about $ 100 million or 20.8% less than in 2020.

In contrast to Switzerland, exports to Iraq have increased. Compared to USD 164 million in 2020, last year more than USD 177 million worth of goods were exported to this country (mostly cigarettes and other tobacco products).

Exports to India increased by more than 72% in 2021. In 2020 this country exported goods worth USD 73 million, last year this figure was USD 127 million. India mainly imports raw or semi-processed gold from Armenia.

Exports to the United States also increased by more than 20%, from $ 68 million to USD 82 million. Most jewelry and aluminum foil are exported to the USA.

Quite a large volume of goods are also exported to the United Arab Emirates (USD 74 million), Georgia (USD 68 million), and the Islamic Republic of Iran (USD 66 million). These countries import cigarettes, semi-finished iron and steel, electricity, glass bottles and containers from Armenia.

Sevada Ghazaryan

Union of Informed Citizens


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