That dollar metric results from 52.3% increase compared to $8.96 billion five years earlier for 2018.
Year over year, the latest overall total for Bolivian exports accelerated by 23.8% from $11 billion during 2021.
Adopting a continental lens, 46.3% of Bolivia’s exports by value was delivered to Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean while 39% was sold to importers in Asia. Bolivia shipped another 8.9% worth of products to Europe.
Smaller percentages went to buyers in North America (4.4%), Oceania (1.4%) led by Australia, and Africa (0.04%).
Bolivia’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Bolivia’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Bolivian shipments by dollar value during 2022. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Bolivian exports.
- India: US$2.3 billion (16.5% of total Bolivian exports)
- Brazil: $1.9 billion (13.9%)
- Argentina: $1.7 billion (12.8%)
- Colombia: $1.1 billion (7.8%)
- Japan: $967 million (7.1%)
- Peru: $852.1 million (6.2%)
- mainland China: $785.1 million (5.8%)
- South Korea: $537 million (3.9%)
- United Arab Emirates: $507.3 million (3.7%)
- Ecuador: $419.9 million (3.1%)
- United States: $372.5 million (2.7%)
- Netherlands: $304.3 million (2.2%)
- Belgium: $241.6 million (1.8%)
- Chile: $237.4 million (1.7%)
- Australia: $193.4 million (1.4%)
Roughly nine-tenths (90.6%) of Bolivian exports in 2022 was delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Argentina increased its import purchases of Bolivia’s exported goods at the highest percentage, up 67.5% from 2021 to 2022. In second place was Colombia (up 48.9%), Ecuador (up 45.5%), Belgium (up 45.3%), Peru (up 33.7%), then the largest South American nation Brazil (up 32.1%).
The lone decliner among the listed customers for Bolivian exports was the United States of America, which posted a -31.7% reduction in demand compared to 2021.
Countries Causing Bolivia’s Worst Trade Deficits
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.
In 2022, Bolivia incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- mainland China: -US$1.7 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2022)
- Chile: -$1.2 billion
- United States of America: -$729.5 million
- Switzerland: -$252.4 million
- Singapore: -$252.4 million
- Germany: -$219.4 million
- Mexico: -$207.6 million
- Peru: -$205.3 million
- Paraguay: -$112.9 million
- Sweden: -$83.7 million
Among Bolivia’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Bolivian deficits with the United States of America (up 7,480%), Singapore (up 197.5%) and Switzerland (up 195.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
In addition, Bolivia went from posting a $2.8 million surplus trading with Paraguay to recording the above deficit.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Bolivia’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Bolivia to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Countries Generating Bolivia’s Best Trade Surpluses
Bolivia realized an overall $603.4 million trade surplus in 2022 shrivelling by -59% from $1.5 billion in black ink one year earlier in 2021.
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.
In 2022, Bolivia earned the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- India: US$2 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2022)
- Colombia: $875 million
- Japan: $735.8 million
- United Arab Emirates: $493.3 million
- South Korea: $459 million
- Ecuador: $374.9 million
- Netherlands: $232.1 million
- Australia: $188 million
- Belgium: $175.1 million
- Canada: $157.5 million
Among Bolivia’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Bolivian deficits with Belgium (up 124.4%), Colombia (up 62.1%) and Ecuador (up 54.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These positive cashflow streams indicate Bolivia’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Bolivia to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Bolivian Trading Partners
Not one Bolivian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists some exporting companies from Bolivia. Selected examples are shown below:
- Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz (financial services)
- Banco Nacional de Bolivia (financial services)
- Boliviana de Aviación (airlines)
- Línea Aérea Amaszonas (airlines)
- Transportes Aéreos Bolivianos (air cargo)
- YPFB (oil, gas)
See also Bolivia’s Top 10 Exports, Bolivia’s Top 10 Imports and Top South American Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, The World Factbook. Accessed on June 1, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 1, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 1, 2023
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 1, 2023
Wikipedia, Bolivia. Accessed on June 1, 2023
Wikipedia, Airlines of Bolivia. Accessed on June 1, 2023
Wikipedia, Category: Banks of Bolivia. Accessed on June 1, 2023
Wikipedia, Oil and Gas Companies of Bolivia. Accessed on June 1, 2023