Uruguay imported US$9 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2018, down by -16.4% since 2014 but up by 6.4% from 2017 to 2018.
Uruguayan imports represent a tiny 0.05% of total global imports which totaled $17.788 trillion one year prior.
From a continental perspective, 39.1% of Uruguay’s total imports by value in 2018 were purchased from fellow Latin American countries excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean. Asian trade partners supplied 23.5% of import buys from Uruguayan importers while 14.5% worth of goods originated from Europe. At 11.6%, a smaller percentage came from North America with 8.9% furnished by African exporters and 0.2% from Oceania led by New Zealand.
Given Uruguay’s population of 3.4 million people, its total $9 billion in 2018 imports translates to roughly $2,700 in yearly product demand from every person in the South American nation.
Uruguay’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Uruguay’s import purchases during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Uruguay.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$1.3 billion (14.5% of total imports)
- Machinery including computers: $813.1 million (9%)
- Vehicles: $791.7 million (8.8%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $719.8 million (8%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $482.7 million (5.4%)
- Other chemical goods: $280.3 million (3.1%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $250.5 million (2.8%)
- Fertilizers: $240.8 million (2.7%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $179.4 million (2%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: $176.7 million (2%)
Uruguay’s top 10 imports accounted for 58.3% of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
The fastest-gainers among Uruguay’s top 10 import categories from 2017 to 2018 were mineral fuels including oil (up 23%), fertilizers (up 22.2%) then articles made from iron or steel (up 17%).
The leading decliner was electrical machinery and equipment, thanks to its -13% reduction year over year.
Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.
In 2018, Uruguayan importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.
- Crude oil: US$1.2 billion (up 439.5% from 2017)
- Petroleum gases: $54.2 million (down -37.7%)
- Processed petroleum oils: $53.5 million (down -92.2%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $12.1 million (down -73.5%)
- Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $1.8 million (down -92.6%)
- Peat: $1.5 million (down -10.2%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $1.1 million (down -3.9%)
- Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $1.1 million (up 15.6%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $871,000 (up 51.5%)
- Electrical energy: $340,000 (no 2014 data)
Among these import subcategories, Uruguayan purchases of crude oil (up 439.5%), high temperature distilled coal tar oils (up 51.5%) then asphalt or petroleum bitumen mixes (up 15.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of mineral fuels-related imports among Uruguayan businesses and consumers.
In 2018, Uruguayan importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.
- Computers, optical readers: US$116.5 million (up 18.7% from 2017)
- Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $49.5 million (up 22.3%)
- Refrigerators, freezers: $49.3 million (down -7.7%)
- Printing machinery: $34.1 million (down -9.9%)
- Air conditioners: $32.8 million (down -5%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $32.7 million (up 33.5%)
- Harvest/threshing machinery: $31.7 million (up 2.1%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $30.7 million (down -5.1%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $28.7 million (down -6.4%)
- Agricultural/forestry/poultry/bee-keeping machinery: $25.5 million (up 36.6%)
Among these import subcategories, Uruguayan purchases of agricultural, forestry, poultry or bee-keeping machinery (up 36.6%), miscellaneous machinery (up 33.5%), heavy machinery (up 22.3%) then computers including optical readers (up 18.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of machinery-related imports (including computers) among Uruguayan businesses and consumers.
In 2018, Uruguayan importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles including non-motorized products.
- Cars: US$330.2 million (down -19.3% from 2017)
- Trucks: $170.5 million (down -20.3%)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $147.2 million (up 34%)
- Tractors: $48.4 million (down -10.9%)
- Motorcycles: $24.3 million (down -17.8%)
- Public-transport vehicles: $23.5 million (down -13.2%)
- Trailers: $17.9 million (down -9.6%)
- Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $13.4 million (down -8.9%)
- Special purpose vehicles: $8.5 million (down -0.1%)
- Motorcycle parts/accessories: $4.8 million (up 0.2%)
Among these import subcategories, only Uruguayan purchases of automobile parts or accessories (up 34%) and motorcycle parts or accessories (up 0.2%) grew from 2017 to 2018.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of vehicles-related imports including non-motorized products among Uruguayan businesses and consumers.
In 2018, Uruguayan importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronics and electricity-related products.
- Phone system devices including computers: US$305.3 million (down -3.3% from 2017)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $79.5 million (up 6.2%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $31.6 million (up 0.2%)
- Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $29.4 million (down -7.1%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $29.4 million (down -34.4%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $27.4 million (down -12%)
- Electric storage batteries: $25.8 million (up 1.8%)
- Filament/discharge lamps: $13.5 million (down -15.6%)
- Microphones/headphones/amps: $12.2 million (down -9.1%)
- Unrecorded sound media: $11.8 million (down -22.3%)
Among these import subcategories, Uruguayan purchases of TV receivers, monitors and projectors (up 6.2%), electric storage batteries (up 1.8%) then lower-voltage switches or fuses (up 0.2%) grew from 2017 to 2018.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of electricity-related imports among Uruguayan businesses and consumers.
See also Uruguay’s Top 10 Exports, Uruguay’s Top Trading Partners and Capital Facts for Montevideo, Uruguay
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook report on South America: Uruguay. Accessed on April 6, 2019
Foreign Trade , United States Census Bureau. Accessed on April 6, 2019
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 6, 2019
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 6, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 6, 2019
Wikipedia, Categories: Companies of Uruguay. Accessed on April 6, 2019
Wikipedia, Uruguay. Accessed on April 6, 2019