The ﬁve largest exporters in 2014–18 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China. Together, they accounted for 75 per cent of the total volume of arms exports during the reporting period.
US arms exports grew by 29 per cent between 2009–13 and 2014–18, and the US share of total global exports rose from 30 per cent to 36 per cent. The gap between the top two arms-exporting states also increased: US exports of major arms were 75 per cent higher than Russia’s in 2014–18, while they were only 12 per cent higher in 2009–13. More than half (52 per cent) of US arms exports went to the Middle East in 2014–18.
Arms exports by Russia decreased by 17 per cent between 2009–13 and 2014–18, in particular due to the reduction in arms imports by India and Venezuela. Between 2009–13 and 2014–18 France increased its arms exports by 43 per cent and Germany by 13 per cent. The combined arms exports of European Union member states accounted for 27 per cent of global arms exports in 2014–18.
A small number of countries outside Europe and North America are large arms exporters. China was the fifth largest arms exporter in 2014–18. Whereas Chinese arms exports rose by 195 per cent between 2004–2008 and 2009–13, they increased by only 2.7 per cent between 2009–13 and 2014–18. Israeli, South Korean and Turkish arms exports increased substantially—60 per cent, 94 per cent and 170 per cent, respectively—between 2009–13 and 2014–18.
Arms imports by states in the Middle East increased by 87 per cent between 2009–13 and 2014–18 and accounted for 35 per cent of global arms imports in 2014–18. Saudi Arabia became the world’s largest arms importer in 2014–18, with an increase of 192 per cent compared with 2009–13. Arms imports by Egypt, the third largest arms importer in 2014–18, tripled (206 per cent) between 2009–13 and 2014–18. Arms imports by Israel (354 per cent), Qatar (225 per cent) and Iraq (139 per cent) also rose between 2009–13 and 2014–18. However, Syria’s arms imports fell by 87 per cent.
States in Asia and Oceania received 40 per cent of global arms imports in 2014–18, but there was a decrease of 6.7 per cent compared with 2009–13. The top five arms importers in the region were India, Australia, China, South Korea and Viet Nam.
Australia became the world’s fourth largest arms importer in 2014–18 after its arms imports increased by 37 per cent compared with 2009–13. Indian arms imports decreased by 24 per cent between 2009–13 and 2014–18. Russia accounted for 58 per cent of India’s arms imports in 2014–18. Chinese arms imports decreased, but it was still the world’s sixth largest arms importer in 2014–18.