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How big are Danish exports and who are our main trading partners?

In recent decades it has become more common to produce goods across national borders. Increasing globalisation challenges our understanding of what a country's exports encompass and what different statistical measures of exports show.

Previously, different export statistics provided a fairly similar picture of Denmark’s exports and trading partners. However, an increasing proportion of Danish exported goods never crosses Danish borders, and that has resulted in increasing differences across the various export statistics. This analysis describes Danish exports and trading partners, based on the different export statistics.

Main conclusions:

  • Danish exports in goods are largest when measured in Denmark’s balance of payments, where the sale of goods that have never crossed Danish borders are included as exports. Today, around a sixth of the total Danish export of goods takes place outside of Danish borders.
  • Only goods which have crossed the Danish border are classified as exports in the international trade in goods statistics which implies that the export of goods appears lower here than in the balance of payments.
  • Exports appear lowest when measured by Danish value added, as these calculations discount the value of the imports included in the production of the exported goods and services. Estimates from an Input-Output model in Statistics Denmark suggest that imported contents in exported goods and services constitute nearly half of the total value. 
  • Regardless of the type of export statistics, Germany is Denmark’s most important export market.
  • On the basis of goods which cross the Danish border, the US is Denmark’s sixth largest export market. When goods sold outside Denmark’s border are taken into account, the US is Denmark’s third largest export market.
  • Looking at the final markets for the part of exports resulting from production in Denmark the US is the second largest export market as measured by Danish value added according to estimates in an OECD international Input-Output model.
How big are Danish exports and who are our main trading partners?


How big are Danish exports and who are our main trading partners?

Subject group: Economy

Released: 5 March 2018 08:00

No. 2018:4

ISSN pdf: 2446-0354

Contact info:

Søren Burman
Telephone: 39 17 30 29