Ecuador shipped US$21.6 billion worth of products around the globe in 2018. That dollar figure represents a tiny 0.1% of overall global exports estimated at $17.546 trillion one year earlier.
Applying a continental lens, 32% of Ecuadorian exports by value were sent to North America while 27.9% were sold to importers in Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean. Ecuador shipped another 19.9% worth of goods to customers in Asia with 19.6% going to Europe.
Smaller amounts were delivered to Africa (0.4%) and Oceania (0.2%) led by Australia.
Ecuador’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Ecuador’s top trading partners. That is, countries that imported the most Ecuadorian shipments by dollar value during 2018. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Ecuadorian exports.
- United States: US$6.7 billion (30.9% of total Ecuadorian exports)
- Peru: $1.6 billion (7.5%)
- China: $1.5 billion (6.9%)
- Chile: $1.5 billion (6.8%)
- Panama: $1.2 billion (5.8%)
- Vietnam: $1.2 billion (5.6%)
- Russia: $837.9 million (3.9%)
- Colombia: $832.5 million (3.9%)
- Italy: $646.8 million (3%)
- Spain: $582.1 million (2.7%)
- Germany: $494.4 million (2.3%)
- Netherlands: $435.6 million (2%)
- Japan: $318.9 million (1.5%)
- India: $291.6 million (1.3%)
- France: $268.5 million (1.2%)
Over four-fifths (85.2%) of overall Ecuadorian exports in 2018 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Up by 136.9% in value, India increased its import purchases from Ecuador by the highest percentage from 2017 to 2018. China boosted its Ecuadorian imports by 93.6% trailed by the 32.9% gain in Ecuador’s export sales to Panama and 25.9% improvement exporting to Peru.
Leading the decliners were Japan (down -18%), Vietnam (down -16.8%) and the Netherlands (down -7.8%).
Ecuador incurred an overall -$1.4 billion trade deficit for 2018, expanding by 95.6% from the -$722.5 million in red ink one year earlier.
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.
Ecuador incurred a subtotal -$7.2 billion trade deficit with the following 10 countries:
- China: -US$2.9 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2018)
- Colombia: -$976.7 million
- Brazil: -$874.5 million
- South Korea: -$666.7 million
- Mexico: -$656.6 million
- Thailand: -$300 million
- Japan: -$239.2 million
- Bolivia: -$216.2 million
- Argentina: -$205 million
- Canada: -$204.1 million
Among Ecuador’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Ecuadorian deficits with Japan (up 78.3%), Argentina (up 36.9%) and South Korea (up 23.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Ecuador’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Ecuador to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
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.
Ecuador earned a subtotal $5.7 billion trade surplus with the following countries:
- United States: US$1.7 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2018)
- Vietnam: $1 billion
- Chile: $964 million
- Peru: $830.1 million
- Russia: $522.3 million
- Italy: $301 million
- Panama: $117.5 million
- Turkey: $97.5 million
- Belgium: $85.6 million
- Greece: $76.9 million
Among Ecuador’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Ecuadorian surpluses with Panama (up 169.8%), Peru (up 58.6%) and Turkey (up 52%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Ecuador’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Ecuador to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Ecuadorian Trading Partners
Not one Ecuadorian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia does list exporters from Ecuador. Selected examples are shown below:
- Corporación Nacional de Telecomunicaciones–CNT EP (telecommunications)
- Ecua-Andino Hats (panama hats)
- Marathon Sports (sport equipment)
- TAME EP Linea Aerea del Ecuador (airliner)
- Tiendas Industriales Asociadas S.A.–Tía S.A. (discount retailer)
- Zhumir Latin Spirit (liquor)
See also Ecuador’s Top 10 Exports, Ecuador’s Top 10 Imports and Top South American Export Countries
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 18, 2019
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 18, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 18, 2019
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 18, 2019
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 18, 2019
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Ecuador. Accessed on March 18, 2019