Global pharmaceutical trade

​A trade balance is the difference between the value of a country’s exports to other countries compared with imports from them. A positive balance is generated when a country exports more than it imports and is referred to as a trade surplus. A negative balance is referred to as a trade deficit or trade gap and shows the opposite situation.

For more information about Britain’s trade in pharmaceuticals, please visit Pharmaceutical trade in the UK.

Figure 1 – World trade in pharmaceuticals

The UK is ranked in the group of countries with substantial positive trade balances. The table below shows the trade values in £million for a number of key countries.

Country​
2010 Export
£million​
2010 Import
£million​
2010 Balance
£million​
​Ireland ​  459,061.50 ​ ​ 63,556.16  395,505.33 ​
Switzerland ​ 641,208.98 259,881.29   381,327.68
Germany ​ 818,881.76 616,729.46 202,152.30
Sweden 111,351.12 49,436.07 61,915.06
France 422,541.38 366,778.00 55,763.38
Netherlands ​ ​ 348,811.42 327,682.57 21,128.85
UK 22,245.03 15,515.45  6,729.58
Spain​ 145,967.24 194,075.19 -48,107.95​
Italy  222,092.29 278,248.01 -56,155.72
Japan​ 62,507.39 228,504.39 -165,997.01​
USA​ 570,084.36 877,982.51​ -307,898.15
 

Sources: 

  1. OECD, STAN Bilateral Trade Database by Industry and End-use category.
  2. HM Revenue and Customs, UK Trade Info 2010, released February 2011. 
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