Chile’s Top Trading Partners

Chile’s Top Trading Partners

by Flagpictures.org

In addition to the Drake Passage at its southern-most tip, Chile shares borders with Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast and Argentina to the east.

Chile shipped US$57.7 billion worth of products around the globe in 2016. That figure represents a tiny percentage (0.4%) of overall global exports estimated at $16.236 trillion for 2015.

From a continental perspective, 51.1% of Chile’s total exports by value in 2016 were delivered to distant Asian trade partners. North American importers purchased 18% of Chilean shipments while 14.9% worth arrived in European destinations. Closer to home, Latin American countries (excluding Mexico) and the Caribbean accounted for 14.1% of Chile’s total exports.

Chile’s Top Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing 15 of Chile’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Chilean shipments by dollar value during 2016. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Chilean exports.

  1. China: US$16.3 billion (28.2% of total Chilean exports)
  2. United States: $8.2 billion (14.2%)
  3. Japan: $5 billion (8.7%)
  4. South Korea: $4 billion (7%)
  5. Brazil: $2.9 billion (5%)
  6. Netherlands: $1.6 billion (2.7%)
  7. Peru: $1.5 billion (2.6%)
  8. India: $1.4 billion (2.4%)
  9. Spain: $1.3 billion (2.3%)
  10. Mexico: $1.2 billion (2.1%)
  11. Taiwan: $1.1 billion (1.9%)
  12. Canada: $958.8 million (1.7%)
  13. Italy: $853.6 million (1.5%)
  14. Colombia: $836.2 million (1.4%)
  15. Argentina: $828.4 million (1.4%)

Over four-fifths (83.2%) of Chilean exports in 2016 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Fastest-growing among trade partners importing goods from Chile were Colombia (up 51.1%), United States (up 32.1%), China (up 25.1%) and South Korea (up 24.8%).

Declining export sales for Chile were led by Italy (down -41.9%), Taiwan (down -27.5%) and Canada (down -25%).

Deficits

As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.

It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.

In 2016, Chile incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:

  1. Brazil: -US$1.8 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2016)
  2. Argentina: -$1.7 billion
  3. Germany: -$1.6 billion
  4. United States: -$1.2 billion
  5. Mexico: -$673.6 million
  6. Trinidad and Tobago: -$606.3 million
  7. Ecuador: -$537.8 million
  8. Vietnam: -$402.1 million
  9. Paraguay: -$401.2 million
  10. Thailand: -$288.7 million

Among Chile’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Chilean deficits with Mexico (reversing a $269.7 million surplus in 2009), Brazil (up 3,275%), Vietnam (up 1,667%) and Trinidad and Tobago (up 1,310%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Chile’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Chile to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.

In 2016, Chile incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:

  1. China: US$3.8 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2016)
  2. Japan: $3.5 billion
  3. South Korea: $2.4 billion
  4. Netherlands: $1.1 billion
  5. Taiwan: $831.6 million
  6. India: $697.5 million
  7. Peru: $531.8 million
  8. Russia: $454.6 million
  9. Canada: $353.7 million
  10. Switzerland: $327.1 million

Among Chile’s trading partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, Chile generated three surpluses with three countries: Russia (up 152.7%), South Korea (up 141.4%) and Switzerland (up 110.6%) from 2009 to 2016.

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Chile’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Chile to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Companies Servicing Chilean Trading Partners

According to Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, the following 8 companies are examples of leading Chilean companies:

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


Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 13, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 13, 2017

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on February 13, 2017