Argentina’s Top 10 Exports

Argentina’s Top 10 Exports


Argentina shipped US$57.7 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016, up by 3.7% since 2009 when the Great Recession kicked in and up by 1.7% from 2015 to 2016.

Argentina’s top 10 exports accounted for over two-thirds (69.7%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Argentina’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $879.4 billion in 2016. Therefore, exports accounted for about 6.6% of total Argentine economic output.

From a continental perspective, $17.1 billion or 29.6% of Argentine exports by value are delivered to Latin America (excluding Mexico) and Caribbean countries, while 30.8% are sold to Asian importers. Argentina ships another 17.8% worth of goods to Europe. The total for North American nations is 11.1% followed by Africa at 8.3%.

Given Argentina’s population of 43.9 million people, its total $57.7 billion in 2016 exports translates to roughly $1,300 for every resident in that country.

Argentina’s unemployment rate was 6.6% as of September 2016, up from 5.9% one year earlier according to Trading Economics.

Argentina’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Argentine global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Argentina. At the four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Argentina’s number one export product is oilcake and other solid residues.

  1. Food industry waste, animal fodder: US$10.8 billion (18.7% of total exports)
  2. Cereals: $7 billion (12.1%)
  3. Vehicles : $5 billion (8.7%)
  4. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $5 billion (8.6%)
  5. Oil seeds: $3.8 billion (6.6%)
  6. Gems, precious metals: $2.2 billion (3.9%)
  7. Other chemical goods: $1.9 billion (3.3%)
  8. Fish: $1.7 billion (2.9%)
  9. Meat: $1.5 billion (2.5%)
  10. Mineral fuels including oil: $1.4 billion (2.5%)

Propelled by improving sales of corn, wheat and barley, the fastest-growing among Argentina’s top export categories from 2009 to 2016 was cereals.

In second place was exported oil seeds (up 93.7%). The gems and precious metals category (up 85.6%) finished in third place led by gold and silver.

Argentina’s exported fish appreciated by 54% over the 7-year period.

Leading the decliners were mineral fuels including oil which depreciated -74.9%, followed by exported meat (down -23%) and vehicles (down -6.9%).


Overall, Argentina posted a $2.1 billion trade surplus during 2016 down -87.4% from the $16.9 billion surplus in 2009. The following types of Argentine product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. In a nutshell, net exports is the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Food industry waste, animal fodder: US$10.7 billion (Up by 24.9% since 2009)
  2. Cereals: $7 billion (Up by 117.9%)
  3. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $4.9 billion (Up by 10.3%)
  4. Oil seeds: $3.4 billion (Up by 120.4%)
  5. Gems, precious metals: $2.2 billion (Up by 91.9%)
  6. Fish: $1.6 billion (Up by 51.4%)
  7. Meat: $1.4 billion (Down by -30.8%)
  8. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $1 billion (Up by 27.5%)
  9. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $837.5 million (Up by 22.1%)
  10. Dairy, eggs, honey: $802.2 million (Up by 1.2%)

Argentina has highly positive net exports in the international trade of food byproducts and animal feed. In turn, these cashflows indicate Argentina’s strong competitive advantages under the food industry waste and animal fodder category.


Below are exports from Argentina that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Argentina’s goods trail Argentine importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Machinery including computers: -US$7.3 billion (Up by 60.1% since 2009)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$6.9 billion (Up by 53.4%)
  3. Vehicles : -$4.6 billion (Up by 1,052%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: -$3.1 billion (Down by -196.7%)
  5. Organic chemicals: -$1.8 billion (Up by 9%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$1.5 billion (Up by 99.2%)
  7. Pharmaceuticals: -$1.3 billion (Up by 129.5%)
  8. Plastics, plastic articles: -$1.2 billion (Up by 137.5%)
  9. Aircraft, spacecraft: -$870.1 million (Up by 72.3%)
  10. Fertilizers: -$723.3 million (Up by 249.8%)

Argentina has highly negative net exports and therefore a deep international trade deficit under the machines including computers category.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Argentina’s competitive disadvantages in the international machinery market, but also represent key opportunities for Argentina to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.


Argentine Export Companies

Not one of Argentina’s corporations ranks among Forbes Global 2000 for 2015.

Wikipedia also lists exporters from Argentina. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Al Este (wine)
  • Aluar (aluminum)
  • Bridas Corporation (oil, gas)
  • Bunge Limited (grains, oilseed)
  • Grupo Arcor (chocolates, cookies, ice cream)
  • La Serenísima (dairy products)
  • Loma Negra (cement)
  • SanCor (dairy products)
  • Transportadora de Gas del Sur (natural gas)
  • Zanella (motorcycles)

Argentina’s capital city is Buenos Aires.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also Argentina’s Top Trading Partners and 20 Most Valuable Argentine Export Products

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 10, 2017

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 10, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 10, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 10, 2017

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Argentina. Accessed on April 26, 2016

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 26, 2016