Honduras Top 10 Exports

Honduran flag

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Previously called Spanish Honduras to distinguish it from British Honduras (now Belize), Honduras shares its western border with Guatemala, southwest border with El Salvador and southeast border with El Salvador. The republic’s south coastline is along the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca while the Honduran north coastline is surrounded by the Gulf of Honduras, a large Caribbean Sea inlet.

Honduras shipped US$4.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016, up by 57.4% since 2009 when the Great Recession kicked in but down by -4.2% from 2015 to 2016.

Honduras top 10 exports accounted for well over three-quarters (78.6%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Honduras total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $43.2 billion in 2016. Therefore, exports accounted for about 9.5% of total Honduran economic output.

From a continental perspective, $1.9 billion worth of goods or 47% of Honduran exports by value were delivered to North American countries while 24.2% were sold to Latin American (excluding Mexico) or Caribbean importers. Honduras shipped another 23.3% worth of goods to customers in other European nations, with 2.8% going to clients in Africa.

Given Honduras population of 8.9 million people, its total $4.1 billion in 2016 exports translates to roughly $460 for every resident in that country.

Honduras unemployment rate was 7.3% in 2015, according to the latest estimates from Trading Economics.

Honduras Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Honduran global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Honduras. Coffee is the number one export from Honduras.

  1. Coffee, spices: US$863.2 million (21.1% of total exports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $590.6 million (14.5%)
  3. Fish: $423.5 million (10.4%)
  4. Fruits, nuts: $346.8 million (8.5%)
  5. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $336.5 million (8.2%)
  6. Paper, paper items: $206 million (5%)
  7. Gems, precious metals: $156.2 million (3.8%)
  8. Soaps, washing preparations, lubricants, waxes: $103.8 million (2.5%)
  9. Plastics, plastic articles: $94.2 million (2.3%)
  10. Vegetables: $89.5 million (2.2%)

Paper and paper items were the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up 327.8% for the 7-year period starting in 2009.

In second place for improving export sales was electrical machinery and equipment which was up 241.9% led by insulated wire particularly coaxial cables.

Honduran exported fish posted the third-fastest gain in value at 118%, particularly frozen shrimps and prawns as well as Rock lobsters.

Trailing the above top 3 export categories was the soaps, washing preparations, lubricants and waxes category (up 94.8%) and animal or vegetable fats, oils and waxes (up 94.5%).


The following types of Honduran 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 is 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. Coffee, spices: US$857.3 million (Up by 66.3% since 2009)
  2. Fish: $408.8 million (Up by 120.5%)
  3. Fruits, nuts: $299.1 million (Up by 35.7%)
  4. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $269.8 million (Up by 115.4%)
  5. Gems, precious metals: $137.1 million (Up by 2.9%)
  6. Vegetables: $54.1 million (Up by 88.5%)
  7. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $45.8 million (Up by 150.5%)
  8. Wood: $41.3 million (Up by 91.0%)
  9. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $35.1 million (Down by -56.9%)
  10. Ores, slag, ash: $33.7 million (Down by -48.2%)

The Honduras has highly positive net exports in the international trade of coffee and spices like peppers and, to a lesser degree, nutmeg. In turn, these cashflows indicate Honduras’s strong competitive advantages under the coffee and spices product category.


Honduras incurred an overall trade deficit of -$3.8 billion during 2016, up 15.2% from -$3.3 billion in 2009.

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

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US-$1.1 billion (Up by 11.9% since 2009)
  2. Vehicles: -$573.4 million (Up by 75.3%)
  3. Machinery including computers: -$525.7 million (Up by 26.9%)
  4. Pharmaceuticals: -$447.3 million (Up by 26.7%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: -$289.7 million (Up by 64.5%)
  6. Cereals: -$234.7 million (Up by 29%)
  7. Miscellaneous food preparations: -$221.8 million (Up by 70%)
  8. Iron, steel: -$183.2 million (Up by 30.6%)
  9. Perfumes, cosmetics: -$160.1 million (Up by 41.2%)
  10. Articles of iron or steel: -$148.5 million (Up by 86.3%)

Honduras has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for refined oils, petroleum coke and petroleum gases.

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


Honduran Export Companies

Not one Honduran corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000 for 2015.

Wikipedia does list companies from Honduras that engage in international business pursuits. Selected examples are shown below:

  • AeroCaribe de Honduras (airliner)
  • Aerolíneas Sosa (airliner)
  • InterAirports (international airports administrator)
  • New York and Honduras Rosario Mining Company (gold, silver)
  • Tegu (toys)

Tegucigalpa is the Honduran capital city.

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

See also Honduras Top 10 Imports, Coffee Exports by Country and Bananas Exports by Country

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 7, 2017

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 7, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on April 7, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 7, 2017

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Honduras. Accessed on April 7, 2017

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 7, 2017