Argentina’s Top 10 Exports

Argentina’s Top 10 Exports


Located in the southern half of South America, the Argentine Republic shipped US$58.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a -23.5% decline since 2013 but a 0.7% uptick from 2016 to 2017.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Argentina’s exported goods plus services represent 12% of total Argentine economic output or Gross Domestic Product. Please note that the overall value of exported goods and services includes re-exports. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, $18 billion or 30.9% of Argentine exports by value are delivered to fellow Latin American (excluding Mexico) and Caribbean countries, while 28.8% are sold to Asian importers. Argentina ships another 18.2% worth of goods to Europe. The percentage of Argentine exports sold to North American nations is 11.1% compared to 8% for African importers.

Given Argentina’s population of 44.3 million people, its total $58.1 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $1,300 for every resident in that country.

Argentina’s unemployment rate was 8.3% as of September 2017, up from 6.6% 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 2017. 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$9.8 billion (16.9% of total exports)
  2. Cereals: $7 billion (12.0%)
  3. Vehicles : $5.8 billion (9.9%)
  4. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $4.9 billion (8.3%)
  5. Oil seeds: $3.1 billion (5.4%)
  6. Gems, precious metals: $2.5 billion (4.3%)
  7. Fish: $1.9 billion (3.3%)
  8. Other chemical goods: $1.9 billion (3.3%)
  9. Meat: $1.8 billion (3.2%)
  10. Mineral fuels including oil: $1.6 billion (2.8%)

Argentina’s top 10 exports accounted for over two-thirds (69.4%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Meat was the fastest-growing among Argentina’s top export categories, up 25.3% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place was fish via its 16.4% gain followed by vehicles’ 15.2% improvement. The mineral fuels including oil category expanded by 13.3%.

Argentina’s exported fish appreciated by 54% year over year.

Leading the decliners were miscellaneous chemical goods (down -0.2%), animal or vegetable fats, oils and waxes (down -2.4%), food industry waste and animal fodder (down -8.9%) and oil seeds (down -18%).


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 represent 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$9.8 billion (Down by -8.9% since 2016)
  2. Cereals: $6.9 billion (Down by -0.4%)
  3. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $4.8 billion (Down by -2.8%)
  4. Gems, precious metals: $2.4 billion (Up by 11%)
  5. Oil seeds: $2.4 billion (Down by -31.4%)
  6. Fish: $1.9 billion (Up by 16.3%)
  7. Meat: $1.7 billion (Up by 24.9%)
  8. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $981.9 million (Down by -3.3%)
  9. Dairy, eggs, honey: $741.9 million (Down by -7.5%)
  10. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $718 million (Down by -14.3%)

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


Overall, Argentina posted a -$8.6 billion trade deficit for 2017 reversing a $2.1 billion surplus one year earlier.

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-$8.8 billion (Up by 21.4% since 2016)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$8.4 billion (Up by 22.4%)
  3. Vehicles: -$7.4 billion (Up by 60.4%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: -$3.8 billion (Up by 23.5%)
  5. Organic chemicals: -$1.9 billion (Up by 3.7%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$1.7 billion (Up by 14.5%)
  7. Pharmaceuticals: -$1.6 billion (Up by 30.9%)
  8. Plastics, plastic articles: -$1.4 billion (Up by 11.7%)
  9. Iron, steel: -$1.1 billion (Up by 133.0%)
  10. Rubber, rubber articles: -$802.1 million (Up by 12.3%)

Argentina has highly negative net exports and therefore a deep international trade deficit under the machinery 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.

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, Argentina’s Top 10 Imports and Top South American Export Countries

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 6, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 6, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on February 6, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on February 6, 2018

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