Argentina’s Top 10 Imports

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Located mostly in the southern cone-shaped portion of South America, the Argentine Republic bought US$66.7 billion worth of imported goods in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a -10.4% dip since 2013 but a 19.9% gain from 2016 to 2017.

Argentine imports represent 0.4% of total global imports which totaled $16.054 trillion one year earlier in 2016.

From a continental perspective, 33.8% of Argentina’s total imports by value in 2017 were purchased from fellow Latin American countries (excluding Mexico) plus the Caribbean. Asian trade partners supplied 29.1% of import purchases by Argentina while 18.7% worth of goods originated from Europe. Smaller percentages came from exporters in North America (15.4%) and Africa (1.6%).

Given Argentina’s population of 44.3 million people, its total $66.7 billion in 2017 imports translates to roughly $1,500 in yearly product demand from every person in the South American country.

Argentina’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Argentina’s import purchases during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Argentina.

At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, Argentina’s most valuable imported products are cars followed by auto parts or accessories, mobile phones, petroleum gases, trucks, refined petroleum oils then medication mixes in dosage.

  1. Vehicles: US$13.2 billion (19.8% of total imports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $9.9 billion (14.9%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: $8.6 billion (12.9%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $5.5 billion (8.2%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: $2.4 billion (3.6%)
  6. Pharmaceuticals: $2.4 billion (3.6%)
  7. Organic chemicals: $2.3 billion (3.5%)
  8. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.8 billion (2.7%)
  9. Other chemical goods: $1.4 billion (2.2%)
  10. Iron, steel: $1.3 billion (1.9%)

Imported iron and steel had the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, almost doubling (up 92.7%) from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for boosted import purchases was vehicles via a 36.9% uptick led by higher purchases of foreign cars and trucks. Argentine imports of electrical machinery and equipment delivered the third-fastest gain, up 21.9%.

Organic chemicals was the laggard among the top 10 Argentine imports, improving by a modest 2.9% year over year.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.

Vehicles

In 2017, Argentine importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles:

  1. Cars: US$6.3 billion (up 40.9% from 2016)
  2. Automobile parts/accessories: $2.8 billion (up 14.1%)
  3. Trucks: $2.1 billion (up 52.6%)
  4. Tractors: $713.2 million (up 60%)
  5. Motorcycles: $612.8 million (up 87.5%)
  6. Chassis fitted with engine: $160.2 million (down -20.5%)
  7. Public-transport vehicles: $153.3 million (up 25.8%)
  8. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $147.8 million (up 32.8%)
  9. Special purpose vehicles: $79.5 million (up 109.9%)
  10. Trailers: $41.9 million (up 28.4%)

Among these import subcategories, Argentine purchases of special purpose vehicles (up 109.9%), motorcycles (up 87.5%) and tractors (up 60%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of vehicles-related imports among Argentine businesses and consumers.

Machinery

In 2017, Argentine importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers:

  1. Computers, optical readers: US$1.1 billion (up 81% from 2016)
  2. Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $661.8 million (up 97.2%)
  3. Engines (diesel): $579.4 million (up 8.7%)
  4. Air or vacuum pumps: $508.8 million (up 20%)
  5. Harvest/threshing machinery: $421.1 million (up 94.5%)
  6. Printing machinery: $411.7 million (up 1.2%)
  7. Piston engine parts: $391 million (up 39.7%)
  8. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $389.7 million (up 20.2%)
  9. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $353.3 million (up 3.9%)
  10. Liquid pumps and elevators: $341.5 million (down -1.5%)

Among these import subcategories, Argentine purchases of heavy machinery like bulldozers or excavators (up 97.2%), harvesting or threshing machinery (up 94.5%) and computers including optical readers (up 81%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of machinery-related imports among Argentine businesses and consumers.

Electronics

In 2017, Argentine importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electrical goods including consumer electronics:

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: US$2.4 billion (up 13.3% from 2016)
  2. Electric motor parts: $1.2 billion (up 141.3%)
  3. TV/radio/radar device parts: $643.7 million (up 8%)
  4. Insulated wire/cable: $456.9 million (up 24.8%)
  5. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $304.3 million (up 6%)
  6. Electrical converters/power units: $271.7 million (up 18.9%)
  7. Electrical machinery: $243.1 million (up 13.8%)
  8. Electric motors, generators: $226.2 million (up 18.1%)
  9. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $221 million (up 11%)
  10. Electric storage batteries: $210.1 million (up 6.4%)

Among these import subcategories, Argentine purchases of electric motor parts (up 141.3%), insulated wire or cable (up 24.8%) and electrical converters or power units (up 18.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of electronics-related imports among Argentine businesses and consumers.

Fuel

In 2017, Argentine importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products:

  1. Petroleum gases: US$2.2 billion (up 27.4% from 2016)
  2. Processed petroleum oils: $2 billion (up 8.6%)
  3. Crude oil: $455.2 million (up 63.3%)
  4. Electrical energy: $380.7 million (down -11.7%)
  5. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $254.9 million (up 81.5%)
  6. Petroleum oil residues: $39.5 million (up 341.9%)
  7. Tar pitch, coke: $23 million (up 32.2%)
  8. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $15.4 million (down -1.6%)
  9. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $9.5 million (up 26.9%)
  10. Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $5.6 million (up 2539.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Argentine purchases of asphalt or petroleum bitumen mixes (up 2,539%), petroleum oil residues (up 341.9%) and coal including solid fuels made from coal (up 81.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of mineral fuels-related imports among Argentine businesses and consumers.



 
See also Argentina’s Top Trading Partners, Argentina’s Top 10 Exports and 20 Most Valuable Argentine Export Products

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 27, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 27, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 27, 2018