Applying a continental lens, 31.7% of Argentina’s exports by value were delivered to fellow Latin American countries excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, while 29.6% were sold to importers in Asia. Another 14% worth of goods went to Europe with 12.4% going to Oceania led by Australia.
Smaller percentages were consumed by buyers in Africa (6.5%) and North America (5.7%).
Argentina’s Top Trading Partners
The list below showcases 15 of Argentina’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Argentine shipments by dollar value during 2020. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Argentine exports.
- Brazil: US$6.9 billion (12.5% of Argentina’s total exports)
- China: $6.2 billion (11.3%)
- Vietnam: $3.7 billion (6.8%)
- Chile: $3 billion (5.5%)
- India: $2.86 billion (5.2%)
- United States: $2.1 billion (3.8%)
- Indonesia: $1.7 billion (3.1%)
- Netherlands: $1.6 billion (3%)
- Egypt: $1.33 billion (2.4%)
- Algeria: $1.29 billion (2.3%)
- Peru: $1.28 billion (2.3%)
- Spain: $1.3 billion (2.3%)
- Malaysia: $1.02 billion (1.9%)
- Switzerland: $970.4 million (1.8%)
- Saudi Arabia: $883.9 million (1.6%)
Roughly two-thirds (65.9%) of Argentina’s exports in 2020 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
From the above list of top importers, India increased its import purchases from Argentina by the highest percentage up 55.3% from 2019 to 2020. In second place was the 46.5% gain for Egypt trailed by Vietnam (up 35%), Malaysia (up 17.8%) and Chile (up 12.7%).
The severest declines year over year belong to Switzerland (down -38.5%), United States (down -28.1%) and Algeria (down -13.1%).
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
Argentina incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- China: -US$4.1 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2020)
- Brazil: -$3.6 billion
- United States: -$2.9 billion
- Paraguay: -$1.8 billion
- Germany: -$1.6 billion
- Mexico: -$831.2 million
- Thailand: -$819 million
- Bolivia: -$753.5 million
- France: -$653.2 million
- Japan: -$595.3 million
Among Argentina’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Argentinian deficits with Paraguay (up 95.3%), Brazil (up 41%) and China (up 38.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2019 to 2020.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Argentina’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Argentina to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Argentina earned an overall $12.5 billion trade surplus for 2020, down by -22% from $16 billion in black ink one year earlier.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
Argentina incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- Vietnam: US$2 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2020)
- Chile: $1.69 billion
- India: $1.32 billion
- Indonesia: $1 billion
- Netherlands: $886.7 million
- Algeria: $883.9 million
- Peru: $830.3 million
- Egypt: $771.3 million
- Saudi Arabia: $591.6 million
- Malaysia: $485.5 million
Among Argentina’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Argentine generated just one surplus from 2019 to 2020, an amount of black ink equal to a 27.3% gain trading with India.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Argentina’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Argentina to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Argentine Trading Partners
Not one of Argentina’s corporations ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists smaller-scale exporters from Argentina. Selected examples are shown below.
- Al Este (wine)
- Aluar (aluminum)
- Bridas Corporation (oil, gas)
- Bunge Limited (grains, oilseed)
- Grupo Arcor (chocolates, cookies, ice cream)
- La Serenísima (dairy products)
- Loma Negra (cement)
- SanCor (dairy products)
- Transportadora de Gas del Sur (natural gas)
- Zanella (motorcycles)
See also Argentina’s Top 10 Exports, Argentina’s Top 10 Imports and Top South American Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 2, 2021
Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 2, 2021
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on March 2, 2021
Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on March 2, 2021
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Argentina. Accessed on March 2, 2021