Bolivia’s Top 10 Imports

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Bolivia imported US$7.3 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2017, down by -21.9% since 2013 and down by -13.3% from 2016 to 2017.

Bolivian imports represent 0.05% of total global imports which totaled $16.054 trillion one year earlier in 2016.

From a continental perspective and using 2016 data, $3.7 billion or 43.3% of Bolivia’s total imports by value were purchased from Latin American countries (excluding Mexico). Asian trade partners supplied 31.4% of import sales to Bolivia while 13% worth of goods originated from North America. At 11.8%, a smaller percentage came from European exporters.

Given Bolivia’s population of 11.1 million people, its total $7.3 billion in 2017 imports translates to roughly $650 in yearly product demand from every person in the country.

Bolivia’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

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

  1. Machinery including computers: US$1.3 billion (18.1% of total imports)
  2. Vehicles: $1.1 billion (15.2%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: $628.4 million (8.6%)
  4. Plastics, plastic articles: $329.6 million (4.5%)
  5. Iron, steel: $299.8 million (4.1%)
  6. Articles of iron or steel: $253.7 million (3.5%)
  7. Mineral fuels including oil: $237.7 million (3.3%)
  8. Other chemical goods: $209 million (2.9%)
  9. Miscellaneous food preparations: $156.8 million (2.1%)
  10. Pharmaceuticals: $155.1 million (2.1%)

Bolivia’s top 10 imports accounted for almost two-thirds (64.4%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Three categories grew in value from 2016 to 2017 namely miscellaneous food preparations (up 13.1%), articles of iron or steel (up 1.2%) and machinery including computers (up 0.3%).

Leading the decliners were Bolivia’s imports of mineral fuels including oil (down -69%), plastics and items made from plastics (down -26%), iron or steel (up -25.1%) and miscellaneous chemical goods (down -24.4%).

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 2017, Bolivian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery.

  1. Lifting/loading machinery: US$180.6 million (up 65.9% from 2016)
  2. Turbo-jets: $132.4 million (up 133.3%)
  3. Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $107.5 million (down -44.4%)
  4. Computers, optical readers: $54.8 million (up 29.4%)
  5. Refrigerators, freezers: $51.9 million (down -17.5%)
  6. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $49.9 million (up 6.4%)
  7. Machinery parts: $42.1 million (up 17.8%)
  8. Sort/screen/washing machinery: $40.3 million (down -39.1%)
  9. Miscellaneous machinery: $38.7 million (down -44%)
  10. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $38.5 million (up 1.7%)

Among these import subcategories, Bolivia’s purchases of turbo-jets (up 133.3%), lifting and loading machinery (up 65.9%) and computers including optical readers (up 29.4%) 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 Bolivian businesses and consumers.

Vehicles

In 2017, Bolivian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles and related products.

  1. Cars: US$355.5 million (down -12.2% from 2016)
  2. Trucks: $264.8 million (down -9.3%)
  3. Public-transport vehicles: $233.5 million (up 83.4%)
  4. Automobile parts/accessories: $96.1 million (up 27.1%)
  5. Tractors: $78.6 million (down -30.6%)
  6. Motorcycles: $25.2 million (down -54.0%)
  7. Special purpose vehicles: $13.8 million (down -46.5%)
  8. Trailers: $12.1 million (down -56.9%)
  9. Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $9.5 million (up 54.4%)
  10. Baby carriages: $7.6 million (up 213%)

Among these import subcategories, Bolivia’s purchases of baby carriages: (up 213%), public-transport vehicles (up 83.4%) and bicycles or other non-motorized cycles (up 54.4%) 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 Bolivian businesses and consumers.

Electronics

In 2017, Bolivian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronics.

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: US$139.9 million (down -31.6% from 2016)
  2. Insulated wire/cable: $65.5 million (up 6.2%)
  3. Electrical converters/power units: $59.4 million (up 10.2%)
  4. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $38 million (up 36.6%)
  5. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $35 million (up 31.2%)
  6. Radar, radio communication items: $27.7 million (up 1,640%)
  7. Unrecorded sound media: $25 million (down -2.6%)
  8. Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $23.1 million (up 16.4%)
  9. Electric motors, generators: $22.7 million (up 8.4%)
  10. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $21.9 million (down -22.3%)

Among these import subcategories, Bolivia’s purchases of radar, radio communication items: (up 1,640%), electrical or optical circuit boards and panels (up 36.6%) and TV receivers, monitors or projectors (up 31.2%) 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 Bolivian businesses and consumers.

Plastics

In 2017, Bolivian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of plastics and products made from plastic.

  1. Plastic packing goods, lids, caps: US$43.3 million (down -20.2% from 2016)
  2. Ethylene polymers: $42.9 million (down -40.2%)
  3. Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips: $41.3 million (down -35.4%)
  4. Propylene/olefin polymers: $32.6 million (down -11%)
  5. Vinyl chloride polymers: $31.5 million (up 16.3%)
  6. Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings: $27.1 million (down -1.1%)
  7. Miscellaneous plastic items: $21.9 million (up 1.6%)
  8. Plastic tableware, kitchenware, toiletry: $18.1 million (down -24.8%)
  9. Polyacetal/ether/carbonates: $12.7 million (down -63.4%)
  10. Acrylic polymers: $9.8 million (up 10.1%)

Three of these top import subcategories grew from 2016 to 2017: vinyl chloride polymers (up 16.3%), acrylic polymers (up 10.1%) and miscellaneous plastic items (up 1.6%).

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



 

See also Bolivia’s Top Trading Partners, Highest Value Bolivian Import Products and Capital Facts for La Pas and Sucre, Bolivia

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 23, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on June 23, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on June 23, 2018