Top South American Export Countries

Unloading Brazilian cargo plane

Unloading Brazilian cargo

Exports from South America totaled US$551.4 billion for 2018, down by -7.2% from 2014 when shipments were valued at $594.1 billion. Year over year, South America’s exported products increased by 8.9% from 2017 to 2018.

By way of comparison, global exports from all countries worldwide equaled $19.347 trillion in 2018, rising 2.4% in value since 2014 but appreciating by 10.2% from 2017 to 2018. To give further perspective, South American exports in 2018 represents an estimated 2.8% of total world exports.

Calculated using statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, the aggregate Gross Domestic Product for all South American countries amounted to roughly $6.583 trillion for 2018. Therefore, exports account for approximately 8.4% of South America’s total economic output.

Given South America’s population of about 420 million people, the $551.4 billion in South American exports for 2018 translates to roughly $1,300 for every person living on the continent. That metric reflects roughly a 30% increase from $1,063 in exports per capita two years earlier during 2016.

Top South American Export Countries

Below are the South American export countries sorted in order by those attained the highest dollar value in global shipments during 2018. Also shown is each country’s overall share of South American exports.

RankExporter2018 Exports%SA Total2014-18
1.Brazil$239,889,210,00043.5%+7%
2.Chile$75,481,714,00013.7%+0.5%
3.Argentina$61,558,357,00011.2%-10%
4.Peru$47,223,269,0008.6%+22.2%
5.Colombia$41,769,699,0007.6%-23.8%
6.Venezuela$34,892,346,0006.3%-51.1%
7.Ecuador$21,606,134,0003.9%-16%
8.Paraguay$9,042,469,0001.64%-6.2%
9.Bolivia$8,964,856,0001.63%-31%
10.Uruguay$7,641,122,0001.39%-16.6%
11.Suriname$1,502,817,0000.27%-21.6%
12.Guyana$1,487,342,0000.27%+26.7%
13.Falkland Islands (Malvinas)$300,553,0000.05%+47.7%



 
Collectively, South America’s top 5 export countries account for over four-fifths (84.5%) of the overall value for all goods shipped from the continent in 2018.

Brazil generates nearly half of all South American exports. Brazil’s top exports include soya beans, iron ores, crude oil, sugar and cars.

Five South American exporters grew the value of their international trade shipments from 2014 to 2018: Falkland Islands/Malvinas (up 47.7%), Guyana (up 26.7%), Peru (up 22.2%), Brazil (up 7%) then Chile (up 0.5%).

Venezuela led the decliners via its -51.1% drop, followed by Bolivia (down -31%), Colombia (down -23.8%) then Suriname (down -21.6%).

See also Argentina’s Top 10 Exports, Brazil’s Top 10 Exports and Chile’s Top Trade Partners

Research Sources:
Central Intelligence Agency, Population statistics by country. Accessed on August 16, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 16, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 16, 2019

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports and World Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on August 16, 2019

Wikipedia, List of South American countries by population. Accessed on August 16, 2019