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Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Mongolia has one of the region’s most open economies. Foreign trade represents more than 105% of its GDP (WTO, 2012-2014 average). The country's trade policy aims to implement market-oriented reforms and to reduce Mongolia's dependence on the mining sector. Customs duties are low and the country does not have any trade barriers. Mongolia has the potential to become a competitive trade hub due to its strategic location in between Russia and China, two large emerging markets.

For many years, Mongolia was primarily an importing nation. However, over the past few years, it has steadily increased its exports. As a result, over the next decade the country’s exports may surpass its imports. After recording a trade deficit of USD 2.1 billion in 2013, due mainly to a sudden drop in the Chinese demand for coal, Mongolia recorded a surplus of nearly USD 538 million in 2014. This is due in large part to the gold and copper mine in Oyu Tolgoi beginning operations. The upward trend continued in 2015, the surplus reaching more than USD 872 million.

Mongolia primarily exports copper, animal products, cashmere, wool, coal and crude oil. The country mainly imports machinery and equipment, cars, consumer goods, tobacco, soap and detergents. The countries main trade partners are China and Russia, as well as Japan, South Korea, the UK and the U.S.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20112012201320142015
Imports of Goods (million USD) 6,5986,7386,3585,2373,797
Exports of Goods (million USD) 4,8184,3854,2695,7754,670
Imports of Services (million USD) 1,7702,0482,0192,1391,520
Exports of Services (million USD) 617959707573646
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 501587-11
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 18813531
Trade Balance (million USD) -2,669-3,030-2,608178563
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 12711010010990
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 7466615745
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 5344395246

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - 2016.

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
China 83.5%
United Kingdom 7.2%
Switzerland 2.3%
Russia 1.6%
South Korea 1.4%
Italy 0.9%
Singapore 0.6%
Japan 0.4%
United States 0.4%
United Arab Emirates 0.3%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
China 35.8%
Russia 26.9%
Japan 7.2%
South Korea 6.8%
Germany 3.3%
United States 3.1%
Poland 1.0%
Malaysia 1.0%
Ukraine 1.0%
Thailand 0.9%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data


Main Products

4.7 bn USD of products exported in 2015
Copper ores and concentrates 48.8%
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels manufactured from coal 11.9%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 9.0%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 8.3%
Iron ores and concentrates, incl. roasted iron pyrites 4.9%
Fine or coarse animal hair, neither carded nor combed (excl. wool, hair and bristles used in the manufacture of brooms and brushes, and horsehair from the mane or tail) 4.6%
Zinc ores and concentrates 2.2%
Copper, refined, and copper alloys, unwrought (excl. copper alloys of heading 7405) 1.4%
Feldspar; leucite, nepheline and nepheline syenite; fluorspar 1.4%
Wool and fine or coarse animal hair, carded or combed, incl. combed wool in fragments 0.9%
3.8 bn USD of products imported in 2015
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 18.6%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 5.5%
Electrical energy 3.4%
Machinery for sorting, screening, separating, washing, crushing, grinding, mixing or kneading earth, stone, ores or other mineral substances, in solid, incl. powder or paste, form; machinery for agglomerating, shaping or moulding solid mineral fuels, ceramic paste, unhardened cements, plastering materials or other mineral products in powder or paste form; machines for forming foundry moulds of sand; parts thereof 1.7%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 1.6%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 1.5%
Cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes 1.4%
Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 1.3%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 1.3%
Cement, incl. cement clinkers, whether or not coloured 1.3%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data


Main Services

0.7 bn USD of services exported in 2015
Other business services
Construction services
Communications services
Financial services
Insurance services
Government services
Royalties and license fees
Computer and information services
Cultural and recreational services
1.6 bn USD of services imported in 2015
Other business services
Construction services
Financial services
Communications services
Insurance services
Computer and information services
Government services
Royalties and license fees
Cultural and recreational services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Last Available Data


Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Main International Economic Cooperation
Member of Council for mutual economic assistance (CMEA)
Useful Resources
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
The Intellectual Property Office of Mongolia.


Learn more about How to Export to Mongolia on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: June 2017