Transport Import Export
Transport Import Export
Transitaire CERL

The French Customs have published the latest report on France’s foreign trade for the year 2021. A good opportunity to review the main key figures of French import/export and create new opportunities for importers and exporters.

According to the latest annual report of the French Customs, France’s foreign trade will show a deficit of 84.7 billion euros in 2021.

This is a new record, but it should be qualified. This deterioration is largely due to imports from the energy and hydrocarbons sectors and the sharp rise in world energy prices. On the other hand, the balance of services has a record surplus of more than 36.2 billion euros.

import export in France in 2021

French exports and imports in 2021

In 2021, France imported goods worth €585.6 billion (+18.8% compared to 2020) and exported goods worth €500.9 billion (+17% compared to 2020).

After a 2020 marked by Covid-19, a strong rebound was expected. French companies have indeed experienced a clear recovery in trade, but at different rates …

The automotive sector has grown very quickly, while aeronautics has experienced a slower catch-up dynamic. French exports (+17%) grew less than imports (+18.8%).

This record deficit is explained essentially by two reasons: a steady rise in the price of raw materials and a 17.9 billion euro increase in the energy bill. The energy sector thus recorded the largest deficit, with a negative balance of 43.1 billion euros. A trend due to the rise in gas and oil prices.

Regarding trade in services, the trade balance is up sharply for this year 2021. After a sharp fall in 2020, the services sector shows, in fact, a record surplus of over 36.2 billion euros. This increase is explained by the strong recovery of services provided to businesses (technical services, professional services and management consulting services) as well as transport services (strong increase in sea freight prices).

Key figures Import Export in France – 2021

Key figures for foreign trade

  • France is the 6th largest exporter of goods and services in the world
  • 135,900 French companies exporting
  • Export of goods in 2021: €500.9 million (up 17% from 2020)
  • Import of goods in 2021: €585.6 million (up 18.8% from 2020)
  • Trade deficit in goods: €84.7 million

France’s main customers

  • Germany (€68.6 million)
  • Italy (€39.1 million)
  • Belgium (€37.2 million)
  • Spain (€36.4 million)

The main suppliers of France

  • Germany (€81.4 million)
  • China (€63.8 million)
  • Italy (€46.3 million)
  • Belgium (€46.6 million)

Note that outside the European Union, imports from Asia, North Africa and South America have exceeded their pre-crisis levels.

Top 5 french exports

  • Aeronautics and space (€19.7 million)
  • Chemicals, perfumes, cosmetics (€15.2 million)
  • Food processing (€8 million)
  • Pharmaceuticals (€2.6 million)

The main sectoral deficits

  • Energy (€43.1 million)
  • Capital goods (€39.6 million)
  • Automotive (€19.0 million)
  • Textiles and clothing (€8.6 million)

Imports and exports of services

  • Exports of services: €257.1 million (+15.3%)
  • Imports of services : €220,9 million (+7,0 %)
international carrier

CERL, international forwarding agent
Supports you in your import and export transport flows

You need to import or export goods but you don’t know where to start? Do you need to simplify your international or national exchanges? You want to rely on a solid company to accompany you in your regular shipments?

CERL offers a tailor-made service where we select your mode of transport(sea, air, road and multimodal) according to your needs.

We guarantee the delivery of your cargo in the shortest possible time. Our goal is to provide you with the best quality of service and know-how at every stage of your shipping project! Our teams of experts will advise you and accompany you throughout your file (regulatory watch, multimodal freight management, Goods Exchange Declaration/Services Exchange Declaration, transport documents, customs documents, insurance, certificates, visas, licenses, duties and taxes, VAT, etc.).

Do not hesitate to contact our services to discuss about your goods flow!

Items related reading