Honduras Top 10 Exports

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The Republic of Honduras shipped US$8.5 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a 119.2% increase since 2013 and a 109.1% uptick from 2016 to 2017.

Previously called Spanish Honduras thus distinguishing the Central American republic 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.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, exported goods plus services from the Honduras represent 42.5% of total Honduran economic output or Gross Domestic Product. Please note that the overall value of exported goods and services includes a sizable share of re-exports. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

Based on 2016 continental data, 47% of Honduran exports by value were delivered to North American countries while 24.2% were sold to Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean. Honduras shipped another 23.3% worth of goods to customers in European nations, with less than 1% going to clients in Africa.

Given Honduras population of 9 million people, its total $8.5 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $950 for every resident in the Central American country.

Trading Economics forecast 7.2% as the unemployment rate for the Honduras as of June 2018.

Honduras Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Honduran global shipments during 2017. 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. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: US$2.7 billion (31.6% of total exports)
  2. Coffee, tea, spices: $1.2 billion (13.7%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: $706.8 million (8.3%)
  4. Fruits, nuts: $607.9 million (7.1%)
  5. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $574.9 million (6.7%)
  6. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $429.4 million (5%)
  7. Fish: $318.7 million (3.7%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $160.9 million (1.9%)
  9. Vegetables: $124 million (1.5%)
  10. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $122.9 million (1.4%)

Honduras top 10 exports accounted for about four-fifths (80.9%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Clothing and accessories, regardless if knitted or crocheted, were the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories from 2016 to 2017.

In third place for improving international sales was the tobacco and manufactured substitutes category which rose 119.7%.

The lone declining top product category was for fish exported from Honduras, down in value by -24.7% year over year.


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 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$2.5 billion (reversing a -$40.9 million deficit in 2016)
    2. Coffee, tea, spices: $1.2 billion (66.9%)
    3. Fruits, nuts: $561.4 million (32.2%)
    4. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $480 million (reversing a -$61 million deficit)
    5. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $369 million (21.2%)
    6. Fish:$312.7 million (18%)
    7. Gems, precious metals: $143.9 million (8.3%)
    8. Vegetables: $102.3 million (5.9%)
    9. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $93.5 million (5.4%)
    10. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $48.8 million (2.8%)

The Honduras has highly positive net exports in the international trade of knitted and crocheted clothing and accessories. In turn, these cashflows indicate Honduras’s strong competitive advantages under that product category.


Honduras incurred an overall trade deficit of -$1.7 billion during 2017, down -54.6% from -$3.8 billion in red ink for 2016.

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 (Down by -4.3% since 2016)
  2. Cotton: -$758.7 million (Up by 8,398%)
  3. Machinery including computers: -$680.9 million (Up by 29.5%)
  4. Manmade staple fibers: -$435.5 million (Up by 4,002%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: -$433.9 million (Up by 49.8%)
  6. Vehicles : -$418 million (Down by -27.1%)
  7. Paper, paper items: -$260 million (Up by 323.9%)
  8. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$259.8 million (Up by 380.6%)
  9. Iron, steel: -$255.4 million (Up by 39.4%)
  10. Knit or crochet fabric: -$215.3 million (Up by 6,277%)

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 the companies showcased by the Forbes Global 2000.

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 June 22, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on June 22, 2018

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

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

Wikipedia, Honduras. Accessed on June 22, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Honduras. Accessed on June 22, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 22, 2018