Argentina’s Top Trading Partners

Argentina landscape

Argentina landscape

Argentina shipped US$61.6 billion worth of products around the globe in 2018. That figure represents an estimated 0.4% of overall global exports estimated at $17.546 trillion one year earlier in 2017.

From a continental perspective, about a third of Argentine exports by value are delivered to fellow Latin American (excluding Mexico) and Caribbean countries, while over one quarter is sold to Asian importers. Argentina ships another 17.6% worth of goods to Europe.

Smaller percentages are sold to North American nations at an estimated 6.8% compared to 7.1% for African importers.

Argentina’s Top Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing 15 of Argentina’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Argentine shipments by dollar value during 2018. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Argentine exports.

  1. Brazil: US$10.1 billion (16.5% of total Argentina’s exports)
  2. China: $4.3 billion (7%)
  3. United States: $3.1 billion (5.1%)
  4. Chile: $3 billion (4.9%)
  5. Vietnam: $2.7 billion (4.4%)
  6. Algeria: $2.2 billion (3.6%)
  7. India: $2 billion (3.2%)
  8. Netherlands: $1.7 billion (2.7%)
  9. Switzerland: $1.6 billion (2.7%)
  10. Indonesia: $1.6 billion (2.6%)
  11. Spain: $1.5 billion (2.5%)
  12. Italy: $1.2 billion (2%)
  13. Malaysia: $1.08 billion (1.8%)
  14. Uruguay: $1.06 billion (1.7%)
  15. Peru: $1 billion (1.7%)

Almost two-thirds (62.3%) of Argentine exports in 2018 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

From the above list of top importers, Algeria increased its import purchases from Argentina by the highest percentage up 51.2% from 2017 to 2018. In second place was 50.4% gain for Indonesia trailed by Switzerland (up 29.4%), Malaysia (up 24.5%) then the Netherlands (up 20.1%).

Leading the decliners were the United States (down -30.3%) and Uruguay (down -11.7%).

Deficits

Argentina posted an overall -$3.9 billion trade deficit for 2018, down -54.4% from -$8.5 billion in red ink one year earlier.

As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.

It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.

Argentina incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:

  1. China: -US$7.8 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2018)
  2. Brazil: -$5.9 billion
  3. United States: -$3.3 billion
  4. Germany: -$1.8 billion
  5. Paraguay: -$1.1 billion
  6. Mexico: -$927 million
  7. France: -$567.7 million
  8. Japan: -$543.5 million
  9. Thailand: -$512.6 million
  10. South Korea: -$272.5 million

Argentina reversed a $51.5 million surplus trading with Paraguay in 2017, racking up a -$1.1 billion deficit during 2018. Among Argentina’s other top trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Argentine deficits with Japan (up 29.2%) and the United States (up 4.7%) grew from 2017 to 2018.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Argentina’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Argentina to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.

Argentina incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:

  1. Chile: US$1.9 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2018)
  2. Algeria: $1.6 billion
  3. Vietnam: $1.5 billion
  4. Netherlands: $1 billion
  5. Indonesia: $993.1 million
  6. India: $955.5 million
  7. Switzerland: $944.8 million
  8. Peru: $703.3 million
  9. Egypt: $675 million
  10. Saudi Arabia: $635.8 million

Among Argentina’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Argentina’s surpluses with Switzerland (up 38.7%), Indonesia (up 36.5%) and the Netherlands (up 11.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Argentina’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Argentina to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Companies Servicing Argentine Trading Partners

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

Wikipedia lists smaller-scale 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)


 

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

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 13, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 13, 2019

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on February 13, 2019
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Argentina. Accessed on February 13, 2019

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on February 13, 2019