Which Country Imports the Most Contact Lenses in the World?

Medical And Dental Instruments May 28, 2018
Author: Anna Sergeeva
Market Analyst

In 2016, the global imports of contact lens totaled 810K tonnes, jumping by 12% against the previous year figure. Overall, it indicated a strong expansion from 2007 to 2016: the total imports volume increased at an average annual rate of +7.0% over the last nine years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. Based on the result of 2016, contact lens imports increased by +95.2% against its level of 2008. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014, an increase of 14% y-o-y. Global contact lens import peaked in 2016, and are likely to see steady growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, contact lens imports stood at $25B in 2016. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +2.6% over the period from 2007 to 2016; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. Over the period under review, global contact lens imports attained its maximum level of $28B in 2012; however, from 2013 to 2016, it stood at a somewhat lower level.

Top Contact Lens Importing Countries in the World

1. China (6.5 billion USD)

2. South Korea (1.7 billion USD)

3. United Kingdom (0.9 billion USD)

4. Slovakia (0.2 billion USD)

5. Turkey (0.2 billion USD)

6. Ireland (0.1 billion USD)

Contact Lens Imports By Country

China (464K tonnes) represented the major importer of contact lens in the world, accounting for 464K tonnes, which was near 57% of total imports in 2016. It was distantly followed by South Korea (169K tonnes), comprising 21% share of total contact lens imports. The UK (28K tonnes), Slovakia (24K tonnes), Ireland (13K tonnes), and Turkey (13K tonnes) followed a long way behind this figure.

From 2007 to 2016, average annual rates of growth with regard to contact lens imports into China stood at +23.1%. At the same time, Turkey (+39.9%), Slovakia (+29.7%), the UK (+18.3%), South Korea (+1.4%), and Ireland (+1.1%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Turkey emerged as the fastest growing importer/exporter in the world, with a CAGR of +39.9% from 2007-2016. South Korea (-2.5%), Slovakia (-2.6%), the UK (-2.7%), and China (-48.5%) significantly weakened its position in terms of the global imports, while the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, China ($6.5B) constitutes the largest market for imported contact lens worldwide, making up 26% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by South Korea ($1.7B), with the share of 7% of global imports. It was followed by the UK, with the share of 4%.

From 2007 to 2016, the average annual growth rate of value of contact lens imports in China expanded at +2.3%. The remaining importing countries recorded the following average annual rates: South Korea (+0.1% per year) and the UK (+1.2% per year).

Contact Lens Import Prices By Country

In 2016, the average import price for contact lens amounted to $30 per kg, going down by -14.1% against the previous year. In general, contact lens import price continues to indicate a drastic decrease. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2008, when import increased by 21% year-to-year. In that year, average contact lens import price reached its maximum level of $54 per kg. From 2009 to 2016, growth of average contact lens import price failed to regain its strength.

There were significant differences in the average import prices amongst major importing countries. In 2016, the country with the highest import prices was the UK ($31 per kg), while Ireland ($5,526 per tonne) was among the lowest.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of contact lens import prices was attained by Slovakia (+6.1% per year), while the other global leaders experienced a decline in the import 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