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Foreign trade in figures

France is a major actor in global trade. It is the world's ninth exporter and seventh importer of merchandise (WTO), and trade represents 73% of its GDP (World Bank, latest data available). France exports essentially aircraft, pharmaceutical products, vehicles, food products (wine), turbines and beauty products; while it imports hydrocarbons, vehicles, pharmaceutical products and telephones (Comtrade). In 2022, energy import prices surged by 2.1 times compared to the prior year, attributed to heightened energy supply costs and the euro's depreciation against the dollar, resulting in a more than twofold increase in the energy bill. Gas imports soared by 248% to EUR 59 billion, crude oil jumped by 99% to EUR 33 billion, and petroleum products climbed by 60% to EUR 38 billion. As per exports, agricultural products have demonstrated one of the strongest performances with a 37% increase; while automobile exports have rebounded to nearly 97% of 2019 levels. Additionally, France's traditional export sectors have all recorded surpluses: aviation (+EUR 23.5 billion); perfumes and cosmetics (growing by EUR 2 billion to reach +EUR 15 billion); beverages (increasing by EUR 16 billion); and the pharmaceuticals sector (adding EUR 3 billion – data INSEE).

In terms of countries, the main exports destinations in 2022 were Germany (13.7%), Italy (9.2%), the United States (7.9%), Belgium (7.9%), Spain (7.6%), the United Kingdom (5.7%), and the Netherlands (4.2%), whereas imports came chiefly from Germany (13.7%), Italy (9.2%), the United States (7.9%), Belgium (7.9%), Spain (7.6%), and the United Kingdom (5.7% - data Comtrade).

France registers a strong structural trade deficit. Nevertheless, while the goods balance is structurally in deficit as the country is a net energy importer, the services balance is in surplus thanks to tourism revenues. According to WTO data, in 2022, France exported goods with a total value of USD 617.8 billion (+5.6% y-o-y), while it imported for USD 818.2 billion (+14.4% y-o-y). As for the services, France exported around USD 337.1 billion (+11.9% y-o-y), while imports stood at USD 285.8 billion (+10.6% y-o-y). The overall trade balance was estimated to be negative by 3.9% of GDP by the World Bank (from 1.9% one year earlier). According to the latest data published by INSEE, in the first semester of 2023, goods exports decreased slightly (-0.8% compared to the second half of 2022), while imports saw a more significant decline (-9.4%). Despite this, trade volumes increased notably, with goods and services exports rising by 2.6% in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter, while imports stabilized with a 0.4% increase. France's exchanges with the rest of the world improved, resulting in a EUR 30 billion reduction in the deficit of the current account for the first half of 2023 (to EUR -9.6 billion).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of goods (milions USD) 654,658581,297715,082823,216785,884
Exports of goods (milions USD) 570,951488,637585,021620,461648,481
Imports of services (milions USD) 267,073227,198262,401288,910322,527
Exports of services (milions USD) 295,746246,122303,380343,547355,735

Font: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign trade indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign trade (in % of GDP) 64.464.156.960.872.1
Trade balance (milions USD) -60,734-52,800-65,669-79,447-144,267
Trade Balance including service (milions USD) -32,201-24,198-46,837-38,447-89,630
Imports of goods and services (annual % change) 3.12.3-12.88.08.9
Exports of goods and services (annual % change) 4.51.6-16.88.87.0
Imports of goods and services (in % of GDP) 32.732.529.431.438.1
Exports of goods and services (in % of GDP) 31.731.627.529.434.0

Font: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 1.52.33.53.63.4
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -0.11.02.42.52.7

Font: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated data

 
International economic cooperation
France is a member of the following international economic organisations: ICC, European Union, WTO, European Economic Area, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IMF, OECD, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates France click here. International organisation membership of France is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by France can be consulted here.
 

Main country partners

Main customers
(% of exports)
2023
Alemanya 13.5%
Bèlgica 8.2%
Espanya 7.5%
Estats Units 7.1%
Regne Unit 6.0%
Mostrar més països 57.6%
Main suppliers
(% of imports)
2023
Alemanya 15.5%
Bèlgica 11.4%
Països Baixos 8.8%
Espanya 8.1%
Xina 5.8%
Mostrar més països 50.4%

Font: Comtrade, 2023. tableau-comtrade-note-arrondi.

 
 

Main products

618.3 milliards USD Main exports
Powered aircraft "e.g. helicopters and aeroplanes...Powered aircraft "e.g. helicopters and aeroplanes"; spacecraft, incl. satellites, and suborbital and spacecraft launch vehicles 4.2%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 4.2%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 3.4%
Turbojets, turbopropellers and other gas turbinesTurbojets, turbopropellers and other gas turbines 2.6%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 2.1%
Other products 83.6%
819.4 milliards USD Main imports
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 7.4%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.6%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 4.5%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 4.2%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.1%
Other products 77.2%

Font: Comtrade, 2023. tableau-comtrade-note-arrondi.

 
 

To go further, check out our service title_service__flux-import-export.html-court.

 

Main services

305.2 milliards USD Main services exported in 2022
+
30.31%
28.37%
19.56%
7.99%
4.51%
4.21%
3.32%
1.05%
0.38%
0.30%
264.4 milliards USD Main services imported in 2022
+
31.81%
23.40%
18.06%
11.99%
4.85%
4.82%
2.85%
1.30%
0.91%
0.01%

Font: source-tableau-top-services, 2024. tableau-comtrade-note-arrondi.

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