Bolivia’s Top 10 Imports

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Bolivia imported US$10 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2018, down by -4.7% since 2014 but up by 7.5% from 2017 to 2018.

Bolivian imports represent 0.06% of total global imports which totaled $17.788 trillion one year earlier.

From a continental perspective, $4.4 billion or 43.7% of Bolivia’s total imports by value were purchased from Latin American countries excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean. Asian trade partners supplied 31.5% of import sales to Bolivia while 15% worth of goods originated from Europe. At 9.3%, a smaller percentage came from suppliers in North America.

Given Bolivia’s population of 11.3 million people, its total $10 billion in 2018 imports translates to roughly $890 in yearly product demand from every person in the South American country.

Bolivia’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Bolivia’s import purchases during 2018 at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Bolivia.

  1. Machinery including computers: US$1.9 billion (19.2% of total imports)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $1.4 billion (13.7%)
  3. Vehicles: $1 billion (10.4%)
  4. Electrical machinery, equipment: $790.7 million (7.9%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: $490.6 million (4.9%)
  6. Iron, steel: $477.9 million (4.8%)
  7. Other chemical goods: $368.8 million (3.7%)
  8. Articles of iron or steel: $331.5 million (3.3%)
  9. Pharmaceuticals: $203.7 million (2%)
  10. Miscellaneous food preparations: $173.3 million (1.7%)

Bolivia’s top 10 imports accounted for almost three-quarters (71.7%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Leading the increase in value from 2017 to 2018, the fastest-growing product category was mineral fuels including oil (up 38.8%) thanks mostly to Bolivia’s accelerating purchases of refined petroleum oils. In second place was machinery including computers (up 16.4%) then miscellaneous food preparations (up 14.6%).

The sole decliner was the vehicles-related category via a -13.4% reduction from 2017 to 2018.

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.

Machinery

In 2018, Bolivian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.

  1. Steam/vapor turbines: US$439.9 million (up 822.5% from 2017)
  2. Turbo-jets: $285.2 million (up 213.7%)
  3. Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $109.7 million (down -43.7%)
  4. Lifting/loading machinery: $58.4 million (down -50.1%)
  5. Refrigerators, freezers: $56.5 million (down -16%)
  6. Industrial furnaces, ovens, incinerators (non-electric): $54.9 million (up 57.8%)
  7. Machinery parts: $50.7 million (up 18.4%)
  8. Liquid pumps and elevators: $50.5 million (up 18.6%)
  9. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $50 million (up 3.9%)
  10. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $48.9 million (down -15.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Bolivia’s purchases of steam/vapor turbines (up 822.5%), turbo-jets (up 213.7%) then non-electric industrial furnaces, ovens and incinerators (up 57.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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

Fuel

In 2018, Bolivian importers spent the most on the following 9 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$1.3 billion (up 41.6% from 2017)
  2. Petroleum oil residues: $22.5 million (down -8.2%)
  3. Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $22.3 million (down -6.4%)
  4. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $2.1 million (down -23.4%)
  5. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $1.1 million (down -14.1%)
  6. Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $672,000 (down -55.9%)
  7. Peat: $236,000 (up 48.4%)
  8. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $109,000 (down -1.8%)
  9. Petroleum gases: $41,000 (up 41.4%)

Among these import subcategories, Bolivian purchases of peat (up 48.4%), processed petroleum oils (up 41.6%) then petroleum gases (up 41.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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

Vehicles

In 2018, Bolivian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles and related products.

  1. Cars: US$409 million (down -11.2% from 2017)
  2. Trucks: $226.1 million (down -16.5%)
  3. Public-transport vehicles: $135.9 million (down -9.7%)
  4. Automobile parts/accessories: $79.6 million (down -1.3%)
  5. Tractors: $78.1 million (down -33.8%)
  6. Motorcycles: $48.7 million (up 2.7%)
  7. Trailers: $15.3 million (up 0.7%)
  8. Special purpose vehicles: $11.9 million (down -60.2%)
  9. Armored vehicles, tanks: $9.4 million (no 2017 data)
  10. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $9.1 million (up 23.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Bolivian purchases of cars (down -11.2%), motorcycle parts or accessories (up 23.2%) then motorcycles (up 2.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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

Electronics

In 2018, Bolivian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electrical products including consumer electronics.

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: US$187 million (up 11% from 2017)
  2. Insulated wire/cable: $69.6 million (up 4.1%)
  3. Electrical converters/power units: $53.7 million (down -12.5%)
  4. TV/radio/radar device parts: $51.8 million (up 830.3%)
  5. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $42.2 million (up 2.4%)
  6. Radar, radio communication items: $38.2 million (up 899%)
  7. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $30.8 million (up 16.3%)
  8. Electric storage batteries: $30.8 million (up 17.2%)
  9. Electric furnaces, ovens: $29.5 million (up 1,887%)
  10. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $20.2 million (down -42.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Bolivia’s purchases of radar and radio communication items (up 899%), parts for television, radio and radar devices (up 830.3%) then electric storage batteries (up 17.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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



 

See also Bolivia’s Top 10 Exports, Bolivia’s Top Trading Partners and Top South American Export Countries

Research Sources:
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 12, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 12, 2019

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 12, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 12, 2019

Wikipedia, Bolivia. Accessed on March 12, 2019

Wikipedia, Airlines of Bolivia. Accessed on March 12, 2019

Wikipedia, Category: Banks of Bolivia. Accessed on March 12, 2019

Wikipedia, Oil and Gas Companies of Bolivia. Accessed on March 12, 2019