Top South American Export Countries

Unloading Brazilian cargo plane

Unloading Brazilian cargo

Exports from South America totaled US$501.3 billion in 2017, down by -8.2% from 2013 when shipments were valued at $643.6 billion. Year over year, South America’s exported products appreciated by 8.8% from 2016 to 2017.

To give some perspective on global economic perspective, South American exports in 2017 represented an estimated 2.9% 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 $6.569 trillion for 2017. Therefore, exports account for approximately 7.6% of South America’s total economic output.

Given South America’s population of some 418.5 million people, the $643.6 billion in South American exports for 2017 translates to roughly $1,200 for every person on the continent. That metric reflects a 13.2% increase from $1,063 in exports per capita 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 2017. Also shown is each country’s overall share of South American exports.

RankExporter2017 Exports% Continent TotalSince 2013
1.Brazil$217.7 billion43.4%-10%
2.Chile$68.3 billion13.6%-11%
3.Argentina$58.4 billion12%-23.1%
4.Peru$44.0 billion8.8%3.4%
5.Colombia$37.8 billion7.5%-35.8%
6.Venezuela$29.2 billion5.8%-66.8%
7.Ecuador$19.1 billion4%-23.4%
8.Paraguay$8.7 billion1.7%-8.2%
9.Uruguay$7.9 billion1.6%-12.3%
10.Bolivia$7.1 billion1.4%-42.2%
11.Suriname$1.44 billion0.3%-34.6%
12.Guyana$1.41 billion0.3%+2.5%
13.Falkland Islands (Malvinas)$208.1 million0.04%+8.4%

Collectively, the top 5 export countries account for over four-fifths (85%) of the overall value for all goods shipped from South America in 2017.

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

Three South American exporters grew the value of their international trade shipments from 2013 to 2017: Falkland Islands/Malvinas (up 8.4%), Peru (up 3.4%) and Guyana (up 2.5%).

Venezuela led the decliners via a -66.8% drop, followed by Bolivia (down -42.2%), Colombia (down -35.8%), Suriname (down -34.6%) then Ecuador (down -23.4%).

See also Argentina’s Top 10 Exports, Highest Value Brazilian Export Products and Chile’s Top Trade Partners

Research Sources:
Central Intelligence Agency, Population statistics by country. Accessed on May 25, 2018

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on May 25, 2018

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports and World Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 25, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, Accessed on May 25, 2018

Wikipedia, List of South American countries by population. Accessed on May 25, 2018