Paraguay’s Top 10 Exports

Paraguay's Top 10 Exports

Paraguay flag (Science Kids)

Paraguay shipped US$8.7 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017, down by -8.2% since 2013 but up by 2.1% from 2016 to 2017.

As of June 2018, Paraguay’s exported goods were valued at $4.9 billion up 13.3% compared to the first 6 months of 2017.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Paraguay’s exported goods plus services represent 44.5% of total Paraguayan economic output or Gross Domestic Product. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, 59.8% of Paraguayan by value are delivered to Latin American countries (excluding Mexico) plus the Caribbean, while 19.9% are sold to European importers. Paraguay ships another 15.5% to Asia with a much smaller percentage (2.2%) going to North America.

Given Paraguay’s population of 6.9 million people, its total $8.7 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $1,250 for every resident in that country.

Paraguay’s unemployment rate was an estimated 7.6% as of September 2017 compared to 6.9% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.

Paraguay’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Paraguayan global shipments during 2017 at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Paraguay.

Drilling down to 4-digit HTS codes, Paraguay’s most valuable exported goods are soya beans, electrical energy, oil cake, beef, corn, insulated wire or cable and rice.

  1. Oil seeds: US$2.2 billion (25.4% of total exports)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $2.2 billion (24.8%)
  3. Meat: $1.2 billion (14%)
  4. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $766 million (8.8%)
  5. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $523.7 million (6%)
  6. Cereals: $499.4 million (5.8%)
  7. Electrical machinery, equipment: $241.8 million (2.8%)
  8. Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $115.1 million (1.3%)
  9. Plastics, plastic articles: $97.7 million (1.1%)
  10. Wood: $68.2 million (0.8%)

Paraguay’s top 10 exports accounted for 90.8% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Electrical machinery and equipment was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up 51.9% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving export sales were Paraguayan shipments of oil seeds, improving in value by 15.9%.

Plastics exports posted the third-fastest gain in value up 13.5%.


The following types of Paraguayan 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. Oil seeds: US$2.2 billion (Up by 15.8% since 2016)
  2. Meat: $1.2 billion (Up by 5.2%)
  3. Mineral fuels including oil: $767.2 million (Down by -22.3%)
  4. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $698.2 million (Down by -15.9%)
  5. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $487.9 million (Up by 1.1%)
  6. Cereals: $451 million (Down by -28.7%)
  7. Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $107.4 million (Down by -5.6%)
  8. Wood: $48.7 million (Down by -6.3%)
  9. Miscellaneous animal-origin products: $47.7 million (Down by -14%)
  10. Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: $43 million (Up by 57.8%)

Paraguay has highly positive net exports in the international trade of oil seeds which is used for making edible oils and producing biodiesel. It also serves as high protein animal feed. Positive cashflows indicate Paraguay’s strong competitive advantages under the oil seed product category.


Overall Paraguay incurred a -$3.2 billion trade deficit for 2017, a 155.3% expansion from the -$1.2 billion in red ink during 2016.

As of June 2018, Paraguay’s trade deficit/surplus stood at -$1.4 billion up 41.7% compared to the first 6 months of 2017.

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

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: -US$1.7 billion (Up by 24.1% since 2016)
  2. Machinery including computers: -$1.5 billion (Up by 37.1%)
  3. Vehicles : -$1.2 billion (Up by 27.9%)
  4. Fertilizers: -$433.4 million (Up by 10.4%)
  5. Other chemical goods: -$362.1 million (Up by 16.2%)
  6. Plastics, plastic articles: -$326.4 million (Up by 9%)
  7. Toys, games: -$322.3 million (Up by 65.5%)
  8. Rubber, rubber articles: -$269.9 million (Up by 22.3%)
  9. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: -$260.4 million (Up by 26%)
  10. Iron, steel: -$234.6 million (Up by 25.5%)

Paraguay has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for electronics-related goods including consumer electronics.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Paraguay’s competitive disadvantages in the international electronics market, but also represent key opportunities for Paraguay to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.


Paraguayan Export Companies

According to Wikipedia, the following companies are examples of leading Paraguayan companies:

  • Banco Amambay (bank)
  • Funcionale (electronics company)
  • Itaú Unibanco (bank)
  • Petróleos Paraguayos (oil and gas company)
  • TAM Airlines (airliner)

Paraguay’s capital city is Asunción, of which the metropolitan area is home to nearly a third of the country’s population.

See also Brazil’s Top 10 Imports, Brazil’s Top Trading Partners and Top South American Export Countries

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 4, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on September 4, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on September 4, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 4, 2018

Wikipedia, Companies of Paraguay by industry. Accessed on September 4, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 4, 2018