Chile’s Top 10 Imports

Chile’s Top 10 Exports chile flag

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Chilean imports amounted to US$59.5 billion in 2017, down by -25% since 2013 but up by 1.1% from 2016 to 2017.

Chile’s imports represent a tiny 0.4% of total global imports which totaled $16.054 trillion one year earlier in 2016.

From a continental perspective, 34.8% of Chile’s total imports by value in 2017 were purchased from Asian countries. North American trade partners supplied 22.9% of import purchases by Chile while 23.5% worth of goods originated from Latin America (excluding Mexico) and the Caribbean. At 16.6%, a smaller percentage came from European exporters.

Given Chile’s population of 17.8 million people, its total $59.5 billion in 2017 imports translates to roughly $3,300 in yearly product demand from every person in the South American country.

Chile’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

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

At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Chile’s most valuable imported products are cars followed by refined petroleum oils, crude oil, mobile phones, trucks, petroleum gases then coal.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$9.4 billion (15.8% of total imports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $7.5 billion (12.7%)
  3. Vehicles : $7.4 billion (12.5%)
  4. Electrical machinery, equipment: $6 billion (10.1%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: $2.2 billion (3.7%)
  6. Meat: $1.4 billion (2.4%)
  7. Pharmaceuticals: $1.3 billion (2.2%)
  8. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.2 billion (2.1%)
  9. Iron, steel: $1.2 billion (2%)
  10. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $1.2 billion (2%)

Chile’s top 10 imports accounted for two-thirds (65.4%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Imported iron and steel had the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up 25.8% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving import purchases was mineral fuels including oil, up 23.1%. Close behind were Chilean imports of meat delivering the third-fastest gain up 15.8%.

Electrical machinery and equipment was the laggard among the top 10 Chilean imports, posting a -18.2% decline.

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.

Fuel

In 2017, Chilean importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products:

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$3.6 billion (up 8.2% from 2016)
  2. Crude oil: $3.2 billion (up 41.7%)
  3. Petroleum gases: $1.5 billion (up 25.5%)
  4. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $1 billion (up 30.8%)
  5. Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $27 million (down -2.4%)
  6. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $15.2 million (down -10.6%)
  7. Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $12.9 million (up 32.5%)
  8. Peat: $7.2 million (up 4.6%)
  9. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $4.5 million (down -26.5%)
  10. Petroleum oil residues: $2.5 million (down -77.6%)

Among these import subcategories, Chilean purchases of crude oil (up 41.7%), natural bitumen, asphalt or shale (up 32.5%) and coal including solid fuels made from coal (up 30.8%) 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 Chilean businesses and consumers.

Machinery

In 2017, Chilean importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers:

  1. Computers, optical readers: US$970.6 million (down -8.9% from 2016)
  2. Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $447 million (up 15.4%)
  3. Machinery parts: $408 million (up 2.7%)
  4. Printing machinery: $360.2 million (up 5.2%)
  5. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $317.1 million (up 0.6%)
  6. Lifting/loading machinery: $307.4 million (up 76%)
  7. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $300.3 million (down -4.3%)
  8. Liquid pumps and elevators: $291.9 million (down -6.3%)
  9. Refrigerators, freezers: $258.8 million (up 7.3%)
  10. Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $245.7 million (down -0.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Chilean purchases of lifting or loading machinery (up 76%), heavy machinery like bulldozers or excavators (up 15.4%) and refrigerators or freezers (up 7.3%) 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 Chilean businesses and consumers.

Vehicles

In 2017, Chilean importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles:

  1. Cars: US$3.7 billion (up 12% from 2016)
  2. Trucks: $2 billion (up 12.6%)
  3. Automobile parts/accessories: $529.9 million (down -33.2%)
  4. Tractors: $432.9 million (up 37.3%)
  5. Public-transport vehicles: $347 million (down -16%)
  6. Trailers: $121.3 million (down -7.4%)
  7. Special purpose vehicles: $119 million (up 38%)
  8. Motorcycles: $87 million (down -4.9%)
  9. Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $69.9 million (up 10%)
  10. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $20.5 million (down -25.8%)

Among these import subcategories, Chilean purchases of special purpose vehicles (up 38%), tractors (up 37.3%) and trucks (up 12.6%) 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 Chilean businesses and consumers.

Electronics

In 2017, Chilean importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electrical goods including consumer electronics:

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: US$2.1 billion (down -18.9% from 2016)
  2. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $658.5 million (down -9%)
  3. Electric generating sets, converters: $448.5 million (down -31.5%)
  4. Electric motors, generators: $313 million (down -33.7%)
  5. Insulated wire/cable: $244.6 million (down -7.6%)
  6. Electrical converters/power units: $208.3 million (down -9.3%)
  7. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $205 million (down -53.5%)
  8. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $181.9 million (up 4.9%)
  9. Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $172.1 million (up 11.8%)
  10. Unrecorded sound media: $168.8 million (down -14%)

Among these import subcategories, Chilean purchases of electric water heaters and hair dryers (up 11.8%) and lower-voltage switches or fuses (up 4.9%) grew from 2016 to 2017.

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



 
See also Chile’s Top Trading Partners and Chile’s Top 10 Exports

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 26, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 26, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 26, 2018