In 1990, Bosnia imported US$1.9 billion worth of fuel, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured products, chemicals, and food. It exported about US$2.1 billion worth of manufactured products, machinery, and raw materials. The war almost wiped out Bosnian foreign trade. As the economy was destroyed, Yugoslavia and Croatia imposed blockades and cut supply routes. In 1996, imports still totaled about US$1.9 billion, but exports were down to US$171 million. In 2000, exports grew to US$950 million, and imports remained much higher at US$2.45 billion.
From 1996 to 2000, the scope of the trade deficit amounted to well over US$1 billion yearly. This amount is huge for the size of the economy. Because of Bosnia's need to import vital commodities such as fuel, equipment, and food out of the limited international credit available, it is more heavily dependent on foreign aid from donor countries and international organizations than other former Yugoslav republics.
Metals and wood products were the most important components of Bosnia's exports in 2000, while electricity exports declined during and after the war. The EU accounted for 39 percent of the Federation exports in 2000 and leading trade partners included Croatia, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany (for the Federation), and Yugoslavia, Italy, Slovenia, and Hungary (for the Serb Republic).