Chile’s Top 10 Exports

Chile’s Top 10 Exports


A South American nation occupying a long strip of land bordering with Argentina to its east, Peru to its north and Bolivia to its northeast, Chile shipped US$65.9 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount represents a -14.9% drop from 2013 to 2017 but an 8.7% increase from 2016 to 2017.

As of June 2018, Chile’s exported goods were valued at $39 billion up 26.2% compared to the first 6 months of 2017.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Chile’s exported goods plus services represent 28.2% of total Chilean economic output or Gross Domestic Product. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

Given Chile’s population of 17.8 million people, the total $65.9 billion in 2017 Chilean exports translates to roughly $3,700 for every person in the country.

From a continental perspective, almost half (49.9%) of Chilean exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 18.6% were sold to North American importers. Chile shipped another 15.3% to European nations while 14.5% worth went to other Latin American countries (excluding Mexico) plus the Caribbean.

Chile’s unemployment rate was 6.4% as of December 2017 up from 6.1% in October 2016, according to Trading Economics.

Chile’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Chilean global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Chile.

  1. Copper: US$17.6 billion (26.7% of total exports)
  2. Ores, slag, ash: $17 billion (25.8%)
  3. Fish: $5.3 billion (8%)
  4. Fruits, nuts: $4.8 billion (7.3%)
  5. Woodpulp: $2.6 billion (3.9%)
  6. Wood: $2.2 billion (3.4%)
  7. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $2.1 billion (3.1%)
  8. Inorganic chemicals: $1.8 billion (2.7%)
  9. Gems, precious metals: $1.4 billion (2.1%)
  10. Meat: $814.4 million (1.2%)

Chile’s top 10 exports accounted for 84.3% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Chilean gems and precious metals were the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories via a 38.8% improvement from 2016 to 2017, thanks principally to stronger international sales of gold and silver.

In second place for improving export sales were inorganic chemicals which gained 21.8%.

Chile’s fish exports posted the third-fastest gain in value up 19%, trailed by exported copper’s 15.3% uptick.

Three product categories declined in value year over year: fruits and nuts (down -19.2%), meat (down -9.9%) and wood (down -2.1%).

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Chile’s Most Valuable Export Products further down below.


Overall Chile earned a $6.4 billion trade surplus in 2017, up 257.9% from $1.8 billion for 2016.

As of June 2018, Chile’s trade surplus stood at $6 billion. That’s a 131.2% improvement compared to the first 6 months of 2017.

The following types of Chilean 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 equal 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. Copper: US$17.5 billion (Up by 15.4% since 2016)
  2. Ores, slag, ash: $16.7 billion (Up by 15.1%)
  3. Fish: $5.2 billion (Up by 18.9%)
  4. Fruits, nuts: $4.6 billion (Down by -19.9%)
  5. Woodpulp: $2.5 billion (Up by 7.1%)
  6. Wood: $2 billion (Down by -2.5%)
  7. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $1.6 billion (Up by 10.3%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $1.3 billion (Up by 42%)
  9. Inorganic chemicals: $1.1 billion (Up by 30.5%)
  10. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $358.1 million (Up by 0.4%)

Chile has highly positive net exports in the international trade of copper. In turn, these cashflows indicate Chile’s strong competitive advantages for this essential construction material. However, an over-reliance on copper exports also represents a vulnerability should global construction activity slow.


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

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US-$9 billion (Up by 25.5% since 2016)
  2. Vehicles : -$7.2 billion (Up by 13.4%)
  3. Machinery including computers: -$7 billion (Up by 3.3%)
  4. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$5.8 billion (Down by -16.2%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: -$1.8 billion (Up by 3.5%)
  6. Pharmaceuticals: -$1.2 billion (Up by 15.7%)
  7. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$1.2 billion (Down by -0.2%)
  8. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$1.1 billion (Up by 5.5%)
  9. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): -$1.1 billion (Down by -6.1%)
  10. Footwear: -$1 billion (Up by 9.6%)

Chile has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for mineral fuels-related products, particularly refined petroleum oils and petroleum gases.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Chile’s competitive disadvantages in the international fuel market, but also represent key opportunities for Chile to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations particularly for alternative energy sources.


Chilean Export Companies

According to Forbes Global 2000 rankings, the following 8 companies are examples of major Chilean export companies:

  • AntarChile (investment services)
  • BCI-Banco Credito (regional bank)
  • Cencosud (food retail)
  • CorpBanca (regional bank)
  • Falabella (department stores)
  • Latam Airlines (airline)
  • Quinenco (investment conglomerate)
  • SQM Materials (diversified chemicals)

Chile’s capital city is Santiago.

Searchable List of Chile’s Most Valuable Export Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, Chile’s top export products are copper followed by non-dissolving chemical woodpulp, fish then wine.

The following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Chile during 2017. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2016.

RankChile's Export Product2017 Value (US$)Change
1Copper ores, concentrates$17.4 billion+38.2%
2Refined copper, unwrought alloys$14.8 billion+14.7%
3Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)$2.611 billion+8.6%
4Fish fillets, pieces$2.607 billion+19.8%
5Unrefined copper$2.4 billion+25.7%
6Wine $2 billion+9%
7Whole fish (frozen)$1.5 billion+18.8%
8Grapes (fresh or dried)$1.3 billion-11.1%
9Molybdenum ores, concentrates$985.9 million+33.8%
10Iron ores, concentrates$982.7 million+15.8%
11Apples, pears (fresh)$806.6 million-2.4%
12Sawn wood$802.5 million-2.4%
13Apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums$761.4 million-32.8%
14Whole fish (fresh)$693.3 million+9.9%
15Carbonates, percarbonates$686.7 million+37.5%
16Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)$682 million-18.5%
17Gold (unwrought)$657.5 million-14.2%
18Miscellaneous nuts$583.5 million+56.5%
19Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$480 million+28.7%
20Processed petroleum oils$440.6 million+39.7%
21Swine meat$383.7 million+2.9%
22Fuel wood, wood chips, sawdust$366.6 million+4.7%
23Fluorine/chlorine/bromine/iodine$349.2 million-12.1%
24Fresh or dried citrus fruit$342.4 million+15.7%
25Nitrites, nitrates$330.7 million+23.2%
26Frozen fruits, nuts$328.5 million-17.6%
27Inedible meat flour$325.7 million-1.8%
28Rubber tires (new)$323.5 million-5.7%
29Laminated wood (including plywood, veneer panels)$310.7 million-10.8%
30Crustaceans, molluscs (preserved/prepared)$305.7 million+13.2%
31Wood fiberboard, other ligneous materials$301 million-4%
32Potassic fertilizers$299.9 million-17.6%
33Copper wire$299.8 million+0.6%
34Silver (unwrought)$274.7 million+63.4%
35Poultry meat$274.2 million-27.6%
36Other food preparations$263.9 million-3.8%
37Hydrazine, inorganic salts$253.3 million+32.5%
38Shaped wood$243.3 million+1.1%
39Coated paper$240.5 million-9.8%
40Cars$212.5 million+6%
41Dried fruit$206.9 million+8.6%
42Copper waste, scrap$200.6 million-36.3%
43Trucks$183.9 million+13%
44Moluscs$182.2 million+20.1%
45Automobile parts/accessories$181.6 million+16.1%
46Fruit and vegetable juices$178.9 million-2.6%
47Sowing seeds, fruits, spores$167.7 million+9.5%
48Miscellaneous preserved fruits$162.7 million+5.8%
49Fertilizer mixes$146.6 million-5.7%
50Jams, fruit jellies, marmalades, purees, pastes$142.6 million+5%
51Acyclic alcohols$137.2 million+56.2%
52Medication mixes in dosage$135.6 million-10.9%
53Miscellaneous iron or steel items$131 million+10.6%
54Locust beans$130.4 million+20.8%
55Salt, pure sodium chloride$129.2 million-1.2%
56Public-transport vehicles$123.7 million+17%
57Phone system devices including smartphones$122.4 million-44.5%
58Prepared cereal foods$116 million+1.2%
59Nitrogenous fertilizers$113.5 million-21.1%
60Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$111.6 million+26.3%
61Tomatoes (prepared/preserved)$111.4 million+1.6%
62Vegetable saps, extracts$109.7 million-3.3%
63Copper mattes, cement copper$102.4 million+376.3%
64Petroleum gases$101.5 million+7.2%
65Flour/meal/starch/malt extract food preparations$100.6 million+4.6%
66Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes$95.6 million-3.8%
67Iron ferroalloys$91.8 million+30.8%
68Machinery parts$88.1 million+6.2%
69Fish/marine mammal fats and oils$84.7 million-2.2%
70Crustaceans (including lobsters)$83.3 million+19%
71Corn$81.4 million-3.4%
72Particle board, other ligneous materials$80.2 million+12.6%
73Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys$80 million+8.3%
74Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$79.9 million+3.1%
75Special transport containers$79.8 million-47.9%
76Footwear (textile)$77.7 million+11.6%
77Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$74.4 million+7.8%
78Molluscs$72.8 million+30.6%
79Move/grade/scrape/boring machinery$71.1 million+207%
80Iron or steel scrap$69.6 million+41.3%
81Olive oil$66.2 million+41%
82Wood carpentry, builders' joinery$62.9 million-7.8%
83Propylene/olefin polymers$62.2 million+13.6%
84Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream$61.8 million-0.3%
85Fish (dried, salted, smoked)$60.8 million+24.6%
86Boron oxides, acids$57.1 million+2.9%
87Red meat offal$55.3 million-4.3%
88Insulated wire/cable$54.1 million+7.3%
89Sort/screen/washing machinery$52.9 million+24.7%
90Aluminum containers$51.1 million+61.5%
91Beryllium$50.6 million-10.7%
92Zinc ores, concentrates$47.6 million-17.2%
93Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$46.2 million+50.4%
94Frozen vegetables$45 million-15.8%
95Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$44.7 million+29.6%
96Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$43.8 million-25.8%
97Footwear (rubber or plastic)$41.1 million-1.3%
98Linens$40.9 million-2%
99Liquid pumps and elevators$40.7 million+20.1%
100Woven fabrics (artificial staple fibers)$40.7 million+39.6%
101Precious metal ores, concentrates$40.5 million-32%
102Alloy steel bars, rods$40.4 million+51.4%
103Onions, garlic, leeks$39.5 million-12.2%
104Aluminum waste, scrap$38.6 million+20.6%
105Uncoated paper$38.5 million-5.3%
106Cheese, curd$38.1 million+122.4%
107Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$37.9 million-42%
108Coffee/tea extracts, concentrates$37.8 million-11.1%
109Starches, inulin$37.4 million+10.9%
110Refrigerators, freezers$36.6 million-14%
111Self-adhesive plastic in rolls$36.3 million+17%
112Paper containers, cellulose wadding$36.2 million-7.2%
113Stockings, hosiery (knit or crochet)$35.6 million-7.1%
114Miscellaneous plastic items$35.4 million+11.8%
115Oxometal/peroxometal acid salts$34.8 million+54.2%
116Chlorides, chloride oxides, hydroxides$34.7 million+32.2%
117Miscellaneous live plants$34.2 million+77.7%
118Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$33.8 million+20.4%
119Uncoated kraft paper$33.8 million+7.4%
120Miscellaneous cast iron or steel items$33.1 million+35.1%
121Bulbs, tubers, crowns$32.9 million-8.2%
122Aluminum foil (thin)$32.8 million-3.9%
123Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared)$32.6 million-5.1%
124Medicinal plants$32.1 million+3.2%
125Coal, solid fuels made from coal$32 million+63%
126Women's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)$31.9 million-0.1%
127Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)$31.8 million+9.5%
128Cases, handbags, wallets$31.5 million+8.4%
129Engines (diesel)$31.3 million+23.2%
130Glass bottles, jars, pots, other containers$31.3 million+5.1%
131Cellulose fiber paper$30.9 million+24.3%
132Sheep or goat meat$30.6 million+25.7%
133Miscellaneous meat (preserved/prepared)$29.1 million+9.4%
134Chemical industry products/residuals$29 million-10.2%
135Household/sanitary rolls$28.8 million+107.2%
136Newsprint (rolls or sheets)$28.7 million-5.5%
137Safety/detonating fuses, detonating caps$28.3 million+3.5%
138Frozen beef$27 million-5.6%
139Animal guts, bladders, stomachs$26.8 million+43.2%
140Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$26.8 million+21.5%
141TV receivers/monitors/projectors$26.5 million+1.2%
142Iron and steel tanks, drums, boxes$26.3 million+13.9%
143T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$25.7 million+26%
144Natural polymers$25.3 million+4.3%
145Sulphates$24.7 million+55.7%
146Washing machines$24.3 million+11%
147Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)$24.3 million+24%
148#N/A$24.2 million-62.2%
149Men's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)$24 million-9.4%
150#N/A$24 million+8.9%
151Special purpose vehicles$23.4 million+13.8%
152#N/A$23.3 million+10.6%
153Taps, valves, similar appliances$23.3 million+32%
154Polycarboxylic acids$22.9 million+2.1%
155Computers, optical readers$22 million+23.5%
156Sunflower seeds$21.9 million+113.2%
157Microphones/headphones/amps$21.8 million+26.7%
158Lead (unwrought)$21.8 million+58.5%
159Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$21.7 million+9.2%
160Rough wood$21 million+48.8%
161Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$20.9 million+0.3%
162Metal-containing ash, residues$20.8 million-94.4%
163Interchangeable hand/machine tools$20.8 million+26.5%
164Electrical converters/power units$20.4 million+107.8%
165Tugboats, pusher craft$19.6 million+914.3%
166Iron and steel tables, household items$19.5 million+10.5%
167Solid-form sugars, fructose, glucose, lactose$19.4 million-4.3%
168Woven fabrics (high synthetic fibres)$19.3 million+12.5%
169Stoppers, caps, lids, corks$19.2 million+27.8%
170Miscellaneous machinery$19.2 million+49.3%
171Tissues, napkins, toilet paper$19 million+67.5%
172Prepared glues, adhesives$18.7 million-7%
173Synthetic yarn woven fabrics$18.6 million-6.5%
174Copper bars, rods$17.8 million-2.5%
175Veneer sheets, sheets for sawn wood$17.6 million-2.4%
176Air or vacuum pumps$17.4 million-3.3%
177Trailers$17.2 million+65%
178Animal/vegetable hydrogenated fats, oils$16.8 million-31.8%
179Butter, dehydrated butter/ghee$16.7 million+26.3%
180Personal toilet/shaving preparations, deodorants$16.7 million+38.2%
181Piston engines$16.5 million+35%
182Live bovine cattle$16.5 million-7.1%
183Natural honey$16.4 million-22.2%
184Derricks, cranes$16.4 million-59.2%
185Automobile bodies$16.3 million+10.9%
186Rape/colza seeds$15.9 million-19.3%
187Bras, corsets (not knit or crochet)$15.7 million+3.2%
188Precious metal waste, scrap$15.4 million-22.7%
189Dried vegetables$15.4 million-5.2%
190Cruise/cargo ships, barges$15.4 million-74.5%
191Wrist/pocket watches (no precious metal case)$15.1 million+19.6%
192Uninsulated copper wire, cables$14.4 million+23%
193Lifting/loading machinery$14.2 million+3.5%
194Whey$14.1 million+35%
195Baby carriages$14 million+3.2%
196Electric water heaters, hair dryers$14 million+7.7%
197Miscellaneous printed matter$13.9 million-5.8%
198Combed wool, animal hair$13.9 million-8.4%
199Telecommunication receivers$13.8 million+22.6%
200Bovine/equine leather$13.6 million-9.1%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$67.1 billion or 97% by value for all products exported from Chile during 2017.

See also Chile’s Top 10 Imports, Chile’s Top Trading Partners and Top South American Export Countries

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 31, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Chile. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 31, 2018