Aruba’s Top 10 Exports

Aruban flag courtesy of Wikimedia

Aruban flag (Wikimedia)

A constituent country belonging to the Netherlands and located in the southern Caribbean Sea north of Venezuela, Aruba shipped US$95 million worth of goods around the globe in 2016. That dollar amount results from a -45.1% drop from $173.1 million in 2012 but a 19% uptick from 2015 to 2016.

Aruba’s top 10 exports accounted for over four-fifths (83.2%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on UN Data statistics from the United Nations, Aruba’s total Gross Domestic Product was an estimated $2.665 billion in 2016. Therefore, exports represent approximately 3.6% of total Aruban economic output.

From a continental perspective, almost half of Aruban exports by value were delivered to Latin American destinations (excluding Mexico) plus other Caribbean countries. North American customers received about 21% of Aruba’s exports while 17% were sold to importers in Europe. Aruba shipped another 5% worth of goods to Asia.

Given Aruba’s population of some 114,000 people, its total $173.1 million in 2016 exports translates to roughly $840 for every resident in that country.

Aruba’s unemployment rate was 10.6% in 2010, the latest estimate available from UN Data.

Aruba’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Aruban global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Aruba.

  1. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: US$35 million (36.8% of total exports)
  2. Gems, precious metals: $10.3 million (10.8%)
  3. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $9.4 million (9.9%)
  4. Copper: $6.2 million (6.5%)
  5. Iron, steel: $5.3 million (5.6%)
  6. Machinery including computers: $3.6 million (3.8%)
  7. Perfumes, cosmetics: $3.5 million (3.6%)
  8. Clocks, watches including parts: $2.2 million (2.3%)
  9. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.9 million (2%)
  10. Vehicles : $1.6 million (1.7%)

Clocks and watches including parts represents the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 419.1% for the 5-year period starting in 2012.

In second place for improving export sales was copper which appreciated by 416.1%.

Optical, technical and medical apparatus from Aruban posted the third-fastest gain in value via a 301% gain.
The leading decliner among the top 10 Aruban export categories was tobacco and its manufactured substitutes which retreated by -83.1%.


The following types of Aruban 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. Iron, steel: US$3 million (Down by -507.3% since 2012)
  2. Ores, slag, ash: $145 (Down by -272.6%)
  3. Aircraft, spacecraft: $21 (Down by -108.8%)

Aruba has highly positive net exports in the international trade of iron and steel. In turn, these cashflows indicate Aruba’s strong competitive advantages under the iron and steel product category.


Overall, Aruba incurred a -$1 billion trade deficit for 2016.

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

  1. Machinery including computers: -US$78.4 million (Down by -11.8% since 2012)
  2. Vehicles : -$75.3 million (Up by 5.6%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$72 million (Up by 6.9%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: -$45.7 million (Down by -52.5%)
  5. Meat: -$43.9 million (Up by 13.3%)
  6. Furniture, bedding, lighting , signs, prefab buildings: -$35.6 million (Up by 29.7%)
  7. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: -$34.5 million (Down by -14.3%)
  8. Dairy, eggs, honey: -$31.3 million (Up by 6.2%)
  9. Pharmaceuticals: -$28 million (Down by -9.9%)
  10. Plastics, plastic articles: -$27.9 million (Up by 11.1%)

Aruba has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the machinery including computers category.


Aruban Export Companies

Not one Aruban corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000 for 2016.

Wikipedia also lists exports-related companies from Aruba, as does the e-commerce website Alibaba. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Aruba Airlines (airliner)
  • Caribbean Paint Factory (paint, coatings)
  • Go! Trading (alcoholic drinks)
  • Govaard Trading Company (auto parts)
  • Mag Development Freezone (heavy equipment)
  • N.V. Elmar (electricity)

Aruba’s capital city is Oranjestad.

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

See also Cuba’s Top 10 Exports, Jamaica’s Top 10 Exports and Colombia’s Top Trading Partners

Research Sources:
Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 20, 2017

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 20, 2017

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 20, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 20, 2017

The World Factbook, Central America and Caribbean: Aruba. Accessed on August 20, 2017

United Nations, World Statistics Pocketbook: Aruba. Accessed on August 20, 2017

Wikipedia, Aruba. Accessed on August 20, 2017

Wikipedia, Category: Companies of Aruba by industry. Accessed on August 20, 2017

Wikipedia, Flag of Aruba. Accessed on August 20, 2017