Austria's Foreign Trade Achieves Strong Growth

CompaniesTransport ♦ Published: July 15, 2022; 12:30 ♦ (Vindobona)

In the previous year, there were strong increases in foreign trade compared to the first CoV year 2020. It is pleasing that almost all federal states were able to record a positive foreign trade balance.

All nine federal states were able to record significant increases in exports compared to 2020. / Picture: © MAN

A report recently published by Statistics Austria shows that Austria recorded strong growth in foreign trade in 2021 as a whole. In direct comparison to the Corona-plagued predecessor year 2020, the growth rate for imports was 23.2 per cent, and for exports it was 16.1%.

the provinces of Vorarlberg in particular, with 20.5% more exports, and Lower Austria, with 28.1% more imports, recorded impressive figures. Vienna, on the other hand, had the largest deficit with -22 billion euros.

"The foreign trade of the Austrian federal provinces increased significantly in 2021. Double-digit growth rates were achieved across the board in both directions of traffic. The exports of Vorarlberg, Lower Austria and Carinthia developed particularly strongly. On the import side, foreign trade increased by at least 15 % in all federal provinces," says Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

All nine federal provinces recorded significant increases in exports compared to 2020. The largest relative increase was in Vorarlberg with 20.5%, followed by Lower Austria with 18.5% and Carinthia with 18.4%.

The smallest relative increase was shown by the provinces of Tyrol and Salzburg with 12.5% and 13.7% respectively. However, this can be explained by the fact that these two federal provinces suffered comparatively less losses in foreign trade than other provinces in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

All nine federal provinces also achieved double-digit increases in imports, such as in Lower Austria with 28.1% or in Vienna with 26.3%.

It is gratifying that in 2021 a total of five federal provinces were able to achieve a trade surplus - i.e. they managed to export more goods instead of importing them. Upper Austria is the front-runner in Austria with a plus of 7.96 billion euros. The worst performer in this ranking, with the highest deficit, was Vienna with -22.04 billion euros.

Exports of goods from Austria totalled 165.48 billion euros in the preliminary full year 2021. More than a quarter of this was accounted for by Upper Austria. Total Austrian imports of goods amounted to 177.98 billion euros in 2021. With a value of 44.74 billion euros, Vienna had the highest share on the import side.

The most important goods in this ranking are above all machinery and products of the chemical industry, since on the one hand foreign trade in machinery dominated both imports and exports in most federal provinces, and on the other hand imports of organic chemical products predominated in Tyrol.

Germany remains the most important trading partner

As in 2020, Germany was by far the most important trading partner for all Austrian provinces in terms of both imports and exports in the current reporting period. On the import side, all federal provinces recorded increases of at least 10% with this neighbouring country.

In terms of share, more than 43 % of all imports to Salzburg came from Germany in 2021. On the export side, foreign trade with Germany also developed dynamically. While Vorarlberg recorded strong growth of 20.5 % with this trading partner, Vienna's exports increased comparatively moderately at just over 9 %.

With a share of 37.1%, Germany was by far the most important export partner for Upper Austria. On the import side, all nine federal provinces had at least one country outside the European Union among their three most important trading partners.

With the exception of Tyrol, China was among the top three import partners for all federal provinces. On the export side, Lower Austria was the only province whose three most important export partners were exclusively EU member states.

Statistics Austria