Venezuela’s Top 10 Imports

Venezuelan sunset (courtesy of Pixabay.com)

Venezuelan sunset

Products imported into the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela totaled an estimated US$10.1 billion in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a -77.6% decline since 2013 and a -35.2% slowdown from 2016 to 2017.

Top suppliers accounting for about three-quarters (74.5%) of Venezuela’s international purchases were: United States (23.3%), China (17%), Brazil (10%), Colombia (5%), Mexico (5%), Argentina (4.3%), Germany (2.9%), Italy (2.5%), Spain (2.3%) then Ecuador (2.2%).

From a continental perspective, almost a third (31.5%) of Venezuela’s total imports by value in 2017 were purchased from Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean. Close behind, North American trade partners satisfied 29.8% of import purchases by Venezuela while Asian exporters furnished 22% worth. At 15.4%, a smaller percentage came from Europe.

Given Venezuela’s population of 31.3 million people, its total $10.1 billion in estimated imports for 2017 translates to roughly $320 in yearly product demand from every person in the South American nation.

Venezuela’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Venezuela’s import purchases during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Venezuela.

At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Venezuela’s costliest imported products are processed petroleum oils followed by corn, wheat, ethers, medication mixes in dosage then rice.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$2 billion (20% of total imports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $1.4 billion (14.3%)
  3. Cereals: $790.7 million (7.8%)
  4. Electrical machinery, equipment: $572.3 million (5.7%)
  5. Articles of iron or steel: $372.8 million (3.7%)
  6. Vehicles: $356.9 million (3.5%)
  7. Organic chemicals: $319.1 million (3.2%)
  8. Pharmaceuticals: $245.5 million (2.4%)
  9. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $220.3 million (2.2%)
  10. Cereal/milk preparations: $199.5 million (2%)

Venezuela’s top 10 imports accounted for almost two-thirds (64.8%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Imported cereal/milk preparations (up 84.7%) and mineral fuels including oil (up 12.6%) were the only two top categories to appreciate from 2016 to 2017.

Pharmaceuticals led the decliners via a -74.6% slowdown.

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.

Fuel

In 2017, Venezuelan importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related goods.

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$2 billion (up 13.2% from 2016)
  2. Petroleum oil residues: $21.4 million (down -22.3%)
  3. Petroleum gases: $9.2 million (up 185.9%)
  4. Tar pitch, coke: $2.9 million (down -19.1%)
  5. Coke, semi-coke: $2.9 million (up 25.1%)
  6. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $2.3 million (down -37.8%)
  7. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $2.2 million (down -32.6%)
  8. Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $620,000 (up 95.6%)
  9. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $530,000 (down -63.7%)
  10. Peat: $257,000 (up 3.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Venezuela’s purchases of petroleum gases (up 185.9%), natural bitumen, asphalt or shale (up 95.6%) and coke or semi-coke (up 25.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported mineral fuels-related products among Venezuelan businesses and consumers.

Machinery

In 2017, Venezuelan importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machines including computers.

  1. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: US$159.5 million (up 16.1% from 2016)
  2. Liquid pumps and elevators: $147.2 million (down -35.3%)
  3. Machinery parts: $115.9 million (down -39.6%)
  4. Refrigerators, freezers: $91.6 million (down -4.5%)
  5. Computers, optical readers: $77.6 million (down -9.9%)
  6. Air or vacuum pumps: $76.5 million (down -40.3%)
  7. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $74.6 million (down -38.4%)
  8. Air conditioners: $65.2 million (down -35.5%)
  9. Turbo-jets: $58 million (down -51.1%)
  10. Temperature-change machines: $42.5 million (down -35.9%)

Only one among these top import subcategories increased from 2016 to 2017, namely centrifuges, filters and purifiers via its 16.1% gain.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery including computers among Venezuelan businesses and consumers.

Cereals

In 2017, Venezuelan importers spent the most on the following subcategories of cereals.

  1. Corn: US$377.4 million (down -8.9% from 2016)
  2. Wheat: $248.9 million (down -0.7%)
  3. Rice: $164 million (up 8.6%)
  4. Buckwheat, millet, canary seed $330,000 (down -55.9%)
  5. Sorghum grain: $3,000 (down -100.0%)

Only one among these top import subcategories increased from 2016 to 2017, namely rice via its 8.6% uptick.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of cereals-related imports among Venezuelan businesses and consumers.

Electronics

In 2017, Venezuelan importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronics.

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: US$105.4 million (down -25.1% from 2016)
  2. Electrical converters/power units: $51.4 million (down -51.7%)
  3. Insulated wire/cable: $46.9 million (down -48.7%)
  4. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $41.5 million (down -58.7%)
  5. Unrecorded sound media: $26 million (down -0.7%)
  6. Electric motor parts: $25.2 million (up 120.8%)
  7. Electric generating sets, converters: $23.9 million (down -57.9%)
  8. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $21.6 million (down -40.6%)
  9. Carbon electrodes/brushes, lamp/battery carbons: $20.2 million (up 647.1%)
  10. Electric motors, generators: $19.4 million (down -51.3%)

Two top import subcategories appreciated from 2016 to 2017: carbon electrodes/brushes and lamp/battery carbons (up 647.1%) and electric motor parts (up 120.8%).

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of electronics-related imports among Venezuelan businesses and consumers.



 
See also Venezuela’s Top 10 Exports, Refined Oil Exports by Country and Corn Exports by Country

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on October 27, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on October 27, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on October 27, 2018

Wikipedia, Venezuela. Accessed on October 27, 2018