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Healthcare: Eurostat: The EU produced antibiotics worth almost three billion euros last year


The European Union (EU) produced antibiotics worth €2 970 million in 2018. Italy was the EU’s biggest producer of antibiotics, accounting for over a third of all antibiotics produced in the EU in 2018 (€1 020 million worth of antibiotics, 34% of the EU total).

In terms of trade, the EU Member States imported antibiotics worth €5 030 million in 2018, over half of which (57%, or €2 870 million) came from non-EU Member States. Compared with 2008, the value of imports of antibiotics to the EU Member States increased by 34%.

€3 030 million of antibiotics were exported by the EU Member States, almost two thirds of which (60%, or €1 810 billion) went to other EU Member States. Compared to 2008, this represents a 13% decrease in the value of EU Member States’ total exports.

Germany, the largest importer of antibiotics

In 2018, Germany imported €710 million worth of antibiotics from non-EU Member States. These imports account for a quarter (25%) of total extra-EU imports of antibiotics imports by value, which makes Germany the largest EU importer of antibiotics from non-EU countries. Behind Germany were the Netherlands (€590 million, 21%) and Italy (€530 million, 19%), followed by Belgium (€320 million, 11%), the United Kingdom (€190 million, 7%), Spain (€180 million, 6%) and France (€130 million, 5%).

Switzerland, the main origin of imported antibiotics

Imports of antibiotics from non-EU countries came mainly from Switzerland (€1 120 million, or 39% of total extra-EU antibiotics), China (€660 million, 23%) and the United States (€600 million, 21%), followed by Japan (€120 million, 4%), Singapore (€90 million, 3%), India and South Korea (both €80 million, almost 3%).

Italy, largest exporter of antibiotics

Among EU Member States, Italy exported antibiotics worth €440 million to non-EU Member States in 2018, representing over a third (36%) of total extra-EU exports of antibiotics by value. This makes Italy the largest extra-EU exporter of antibiotics, ahead of Ireland (€190 million, 16%), followed by Spain (€100 million, 8%), Belgium (€80 million, 6%) and Denmark (€70 million, almost 6%).