Which Country Exports the Most Contact Lenses in the World?

Medical And Dental Instruments May 28, 2018
Author: Sergey Avramenko
Head of Global Markets Research Team

In 2016, the amount of contact lens exported worldwide stood at 240K tonnes, remaining relatively unchanged against the previous year level. In general, contact lens exports continue to indicate a remarkable increase. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2009, when exports increased by 45% against the previous year level. Global contact lens export peaked of 255K tonnes in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

In value terms, contact lens exports totaled $25B in 2016. The total export value increased at an average annual rate of +2.5% from 2007 to 2016; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations over the period under review. Global contact lens export peaked of $28B in 2012; however, from 2013 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

Top Contact Lens Exporting Countries in the World

1. South Korea (2.9 billion USD)

2. Germany (1.6 billion USD)

3. Ireland (1.3 billion USD)

4. United Kingdom (1.1 billion USD)

5. Hungary (0.3 billion USD)

6. Poland (0.2 billion USD)

7. Slovakia (0.0 billion USD)

Contact Lens Exports By Country

South Korea (160K tonnes) prevails in contact lens exports structure, recording 160K tonnes, which was approx. 67% of total exports in 2016. The UK (15K tonnes) took a 6% share (based on tonnes) of global contact lens exports, which put it in second place, following Germany (5%), and Ireland (5%). The following exporters - Hungary (8.8K tonnes), Poland (4.2K tonnes), and Slovakia (4K tonnes) together made up 7% of total exports.

Exports from South Korea increased at an average annual rate of +19.6% from 2007 to 2016. At the same time, Hungary (+47.7%), Poland (+43.4%), Slovakia (+23.6%), the UK (+17.4%), Germany (+7.6%), and Ireland (+6.5%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Hungary emerged as the fastest growing importer/exporter in the world, with a CAGR of +47.7% from 2007-2016. While the share of Poland (-1.7%), Ireland (-2.1%), Germany (-2.6%), Hungary (-3.6%), the UK (-4.8%), and South Korea (-53.5%) decreased significantly, the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, the largest contact lens markets worldwide were South Korea ($2.9B), Germany ($1.6B) and Ireland ($1.3B), with a combined 23% share of global exports. These countries were followed by the UK, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, which together accounted for a further 6%.

Slovakia (+35.2% per year) recorded the highest growth rate of contact lens exports, among the main exporting countries, over the last 9 year period, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Contact Lens Export Prices By Country

The average contact lens export price stood at $105 per kg in 2016, falling by -4.4% against the previous year. Overall, contact lens export price continues to indicate a perceptible decline. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2008, an increase of 74% year-to-year. In that year, average contact lens export price attained its maximum level of $248 per kg. From 2009 to 2016, growth of average contact lens export price failed to regain its strength.

Export prices varied noticeably by country of destination. the country with the highest export prices was Germany ($122 per kg), while Slovakia ($7,362 per tonne) was among the lowest.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of contact lens export prices was attained by Slovakia (+9.4% per year), while the other global leaders experienced a decline in the export price figures.

Do you want to know more about global contact lens market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • contact lens market share
  • contact lens prices
  • contact lens industry
  • contact lens sales
  • contact lens import
  • contact lens export
  • contact lens market forecast
  • contact lens price forecast
  • key contact lens producers

All data provided in this article covers the following product: HS Code 9001 - Optical fibres and optical fibre bundles; optical fibre cables not of heading no. 8544; sheets, plates of polarising material; lenses, prisms, mirrors, of any material; unmounted; not non optical glass.

Source: World: Contact Lenses - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025