『NORTH KOREA TRADE 2023』 -published in Nov. 2023

This book summarizes foreign trade statistics in fiscal year 2021 for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea/ D.P.R.Korea). Although the country does not publish the trade statistics, we drew up this book by investigating foreign trade with D.P.R.Korea, based on customhouse statistics of 190 for so countries (and regions) which are trade partners of D.P.R.Korea.
Although trade statistics of each country are generally shown in FOB(Free on board) prices for exports and CIF(Cost Insurance and Freight) prices for imports, that is not the case with the statistics in this book since the trade statistics of D.P.R.Korea were looked at from the side of the country’s trade partners. In case of D.P.R.Korea, therefore, export amounts are shown in CIF prices and import amounts in FOB prices.
The statistical format applied in this book was created, based on the HS code which is the international standard.
In addition, there are some items in statistics of developing countries on which they seemed to have reported, mixing up North and South Koreas, but these data remain in this book without being excluded.
Amounts in currency units were all converted into the U.S.dollar.
However, part of the product name is omitted due to the structure of the paper. Therefore, it is recommended to check the exact name on the websites of the customs authorities of each country and international organizations (UN, WCO, etc.).

■Recent North korea’s trade Trends

In FY2022, North Korea’s exports totaled approximately $2.06 billion, representing a significant increase of 231% over the previous year. By country, it is confirmed that export transactions were made to a total of 84 countries. Of these, trade with China was the largest, accounting for 51% of the total (approximately $130 million); Senegal (12% / approximately $0.03 billion) was second; Nigeria (7% / approximately $0.02 billion) was third; Poland (4% / approximately $0.01 billion) was fourth; and the Netherlands (3% / approximately $0.01 billion) was fifth.

*There are some statistics for some countries that appear to confuse North korea and South korea (South Korea).

By product, exports of HS Code 27 (mineral fuels, mineral oils and their distillates, blue minerals, and mineral waxes) were the highest at $0.05 billion, showing an almost twofold increase over the previous year. This was followed by the export value of code 26 (ores, slag, and ashes) ($0.04 billion).

Meanwhile, the overall import value was about $0.9 billion, also showing rapid growth of 344% over the previous year. By country, imports from a total of 41 countries were confirmed. Of these, imports from China were the largest, accounting for 98% of the total. Zimbabwe, the Netherlands, India, and Colombia followed, but at only a small level compared to transactions with China.

By product, HS 39 (plastics and products thereof) accounted for the highest import value of about $120 million, followed by HS 15 (animal, vegetable, or microbial fats and oils and their degradation products, edible fat preparations, and animal or vegetable waxes) and HS 40 (rubber and products thereof) at $0.06 billion each. The import value of category 40 (rubber and rubber products) was $0.06 billion each.

Both imports and exports to China have recovered significantly, probably due to the easing of the effects of the new coronavirus (including the border blockade). As for exports, other results that appear to be spot transactions with African countries such as Senegal have contributed somewhat to the increase, but there has been no major change in the composition of the trade with China, which is heavily weighted toward China. Trade with China is also expected to play a major key role in the transition of trade volume in the next fiscal year and beyond.

However, relations with Russia have been rapidly approaching recently, and various reports have pointed out the possibility that North Korea’s exports of arms and ammunition to Russia may increase in the future. (*It is always possible that arms transactions are not recorded in the trade statistics of each country.) As a barter trade against this, it is possible that exports of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia to North Korea will increase. The future of the trade will be closely watched.

Price: $659 ($599 without tax)
Publication date: December 2023
Number of pages: 254 (A4 size)
Contents: Exports by country by product according to HS code (2-digit, 4-digit, and 6-digit) classification (2368 records in total), imports by country by product (5126 records in total), exports by country by product, imports by country by product
Please contact us for ordering information. (Please allow one week for delivery due to on-demand printing.)
We also accept purchase orders from bookstores.
Back numbers are also available. (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)

Orders from outside of Japan will be processed by credit card only. (
Please click here.


■Database Sales

The statistical data included in this publication are also available for sale separately. Please contact us if you are interested.


Data Format: MS Excel

Contents: All import/export data (2-digit to 6-digit HS classification) for the subject year, product name for each item (Japanese and English)