In 2021, the European Union imported 7.8 billion euro worth of Covid-19 vaccines and exported 20.1 billion euro’s worth, according to figures released on April 21 by EU statistics agency Eurostat.
Eurostat said that imports came predominantly from Switzerland (65 per cent) and the United States (29 per cent).
Exports went predominantly to Japan (21 per cent), the United Kingdom (14 per cent) and South Korea (six per cent).
The largest exporters (combined intra and extra-EU) of Covid-19 vaccines among the EU member states were Belgium (61 per cent of the EU total), Germany (21 per cent) and Spain (11 per cent).
Germany (30 per cent of the EU total), Spain (21 per cent) and Belgium (14 per cent) were also the largest importers (combined intra and extra-EU) of Covid-19 vaccines among EU member states in 2021.
To help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, countries around the world have taken a variety of restrictive measures, which have negatively affected international trade in goods, with a few noteworthy exceptions, Eurostat said.
Among these are goods used in direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic: sterilisation products (including disinfectants), medical vehicles and furniture, protective garments, diagnostic testing equipment, medical devices, oxygen therapy equipment and medical consumables, or so called ‘Covid-19 related products’.
Per capita imports of Covid-19 related products in 2021 were highest in Belgium (4988 euro), Slovenia (3841 euro), the Netherlands (2967 euro) and Ireland (2386 euro). These same four countries, but in a different order, also had the highest per capita exports, Eurostat said.
Ireland had by far the highest per capita values (12 621 euro), reflecting a high specialisation in the trading of these products, especially diagnostic test equipment and medical consumables.
Ireland was followed by Belgium (7431 euro), Slovenia (4038 euro) and the Netherlands (3934 euro).
The lowest values for imports per capita were in Greece (445 euro), Poland (420 euro), Romania (371 euro) and Bulgaria (337 euro).
The majority of EU countries (18 out of 27) recorded per capita imports between 500 and 1500 euro, Eurostat said.
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