EU trade in medicinal and pharma products: New peak in 2022 – Eurostat

Between 2002 and 2022, European Union exports of medicinal and pharmaceutical products to countries outside the EU grew considerably stronger than imports, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on April 24.

Exports increased from 50 billion euro in 2002 to 287 billion euro in 2022, Eurostat said.

Compared with 2021 (235 billion euro), the 2022 total represented an increase of 22 per cent.

Imports rose from 32 billion euro to 112 billion euro between 2002 to 2022, rising almost 12 per cent from 2021 (100 billion euro) to 2022.

With extra-EU exports growing more than imports, the EU’s trade surplus in medicinal and pharmaceutical products reached 175 billion euro, the highest value since 2002 (18 billion euro), Eurostat said.

In 2022, Germany was the EU’s largest extra-EU exporter (68 billion euro), followed by Belgium (56 billion euro), Ireland (42 billion euro), the Netherlands and Italy (each 22 billion euro).

The largest extra-EU importers of medicinal and pharmaceutical products were Belgium (21 billion euro), followed by Germany (19 billion euro), the Netherlands (18 billion euro), Spain (10 billion euro) and Italy (nine billion euro).

The main destination of extra-EU exports of medicinal and pharmaceutical products in 2022 was the United States, accounting for almost a third (33 per cent) of these exports, followed at a distance by Switzerland (13 per cent), the United Kingdom (seven per cent), China and Japan (both six per cent).

Imports of these products to the EU came mainly from the US, accounting for 35 per cent of all EU imports of these products, then Switzerland (34 per cent), United Kingdom (nine per cent) followed by China (five per cent) and Singapore (four per cent).

Regarding trade between the EU and the US, between 2002 and 2022, EU exports of medicinal and pharmaceutical products grew by more than nine per cent per year, and EU imports grew by almost seven per cent per year. During this period, the trade balance has been in favour of the EU, registering a surplus of 54 billion euro in 2022.

As for Switzerland, between 2002 and 2022, EU exports grew by almost 10 per cent per year, and imports grew by almost eight per cent per year. Over the same period, the EU had a trade deficit that totalled eight billion euro in 2009, 2012, 2019 and nine billion euro in 2021. In 2022, a reduction in this deficit was recorded, with the trade balance reported as a billion euro, Eurostat said.

(Photo: Danny de Bruyne/

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