Haiti’s Top 10 Exports

Haitian flag courtesy of FlagPictures.org

Haiti flag (FlagPictures.org)

The Republic of Haiti shipped US$173.5 million worth of goods around the globe in 2017, down by -20.4% since 2013 and down by -50.9% from 2016 to 2017.

Haiti occupies the western three-eighths of Hispaniola located on the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, sharing the remaining area of the island with the Dominican Republic.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Haiti’s exported goods plus services represent 20% of total Haitian economic output or Gross Domestic Product. Please note that the overall value of exported goods and services includes a share of re-exports. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, $106.1 million or 61.1% of Haitian exports by value were delivered to North America. Smaller percentages were sold to importers in Europe (19.8%), Asia (12.6%), Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (4.9%) and Africa (1.4%).

Given Haiti’s population of 10.6 million people, its total $173.5 million in 2017 exports translates to roughly $20 for every resident in that country.

Trading Economics estimates Haiti’s unemployment rate to be 13.19% in 2016.

Haiti’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

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

At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, Haiti’s most valuable exported products are clothing, essential oils, iron or steel scrap, live fish, guavas and mangoes, helicopters and piston engine generating sets.

  1. Perfumes, cosmetics: US$26.9 million (15.5% of total exports)
  2. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $18.7 million (10.8%)
  3. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $16.2 million (9.3%)
  4. Iron, steel: $16 million (9.3%)
  5. Fish: $11.5 million (6.7%)
  6. Electrical machinery, equipment: $10 million (5.8%)
  7. Fruits, nuts: $8.4 million (4.8%)
  8. Aircraft, spacecraft: $7.5 million (4.3%)
  9. Machinery including computers: $4.9 million (2.8%)
  10. Cocoa: $4.3 million (2.5%)

Haiti’s top 10 exports accounted for 71.8% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Aircraft and spacecraft was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 429.4% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving export sales was electrical machinery and equipment which appreciated by 60.5%, led by piston engine generating sets.

Haitian iron and steel posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 17.6% year over year.

Leading the decliners among the top 10 Haitian export categories were fruits and nuts (down -64%) and cocoa (down -58.1%).


The following types of Haitian 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 represent 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. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: US$10.4 million (Down by -52.2% since 2016)
  2. Fruits, nuts: $6.7 million (Down by -66.9%)
  3. Aircraft, spacecraft: $6.2 million (Reversing a -$10.1 million deficit)
  4. Perfumes, cosmetics: $5.9 million (Reversing a -$5 million deficit)
  5. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $5.3 million (Down by -82.4%)
  6. Cocoa: $3.6 million (Down by -61.2%)
  7. Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $2.2 million (Down by -21.8%)
  8. Collector items, art, antiques: $600,000 (Up by 380%)
  9. Plaiting products, basketware, wickerwork: $196,000 (Down by -31.2%)
  10. Woodpulp: $63,000 (Down by -50.4%)

Haiti has highly positive net exports in the international trade of clothing and related accessories. In turn, these cashflows indicate Haiti’s strong competitive advantages under the clothing and accessories product categories.


Overall Haiti incurred a -$2 billion trade deficit for 2017 down by -29.7% from -$2.8 billion during 2016.

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

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$225.3 million (Down by -56.9% since 2016)
  2. Cereals: -$182.8 million (Down by -50.3%)
  3. Pharmaceuticals: -$176.8 million (Up by 121.9%)
  4. Vehicles: -$111.4 million (Down by -30.8%)
  5. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$102.3 million (Down by -30.5%)
  6. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$96.0 million (Down by -34.3%)
  7. Machinery including computers: -$92.6 million (Down by -20.1%)
  8. Sugar, sugar confectionery: -$82.2 million (Down by -37.7%)
  9. Iron, steel: -$82.1 million (Up by 4.9%)
  10. Plastics, plastic articles: -$74.4 million (Down by -28.1%)

Haiti has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the mineral fuels-related product category. These product-specific negative balances mainly encompass red ink for refined petroleum oils and petroleum gas.


Haitian Export Companies

Not one Haitian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.

Wikipedia lists some exports-related companies from Haiti. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Brasserie de la Couronne (soft drinks)
  • Brasserie Nationale d’Haïti (brewery)
  • Comme Il Faut (tobacco)
  • Handxom (electronics)
  • Rhum Barbancourt (alcoholic beverages)
  • Sûrtab (computer hardware including tablets)
  • Unibank (commercial bank)

Haiti’s capital city is Port-au-Prince.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also Aruba’s Top 10 Exports, Mexico’s Top Trading Partners and Top Central American Export Countries

Research Sources:
FlagPictures.org, Flag of Haiti. Accessed on April 22, 2018

Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 22, 2018

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 22, 2018

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 22, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 22, 2018

The World Factbook, Central America and Caribbean: Haiti. Accessed on April 22, 2018

Wikipedia, Jordan. Accessed on April 22, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Haiti. Accessed on April 22, 2018

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Accessed on April 22, 2018