That dollar amount reflects a 35.3% increase from $75.8 billion during 2018 and a 10.5% year-over-year uptick compared to $92.9 billion in 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the Chilean peso depreciated by -36.2% against the US dollar since 2018 and fell by -15.1% from 2021 to 2022. Chile’s weaker local currency made its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Chile’s most valuable export products are copper ores and concentrates plus refined and unrefined copper. Those copper product categories represent well over two-fifths (42.9%) of overall revenues from Chilean exports in 2022.
Chile Best International Trade Customers
The latest available country-specific data shows that 83.6% of products exported from Chile were bought by importers in: mainland China (37.9% of the global total), United States of America (15.2%), Japan (7.6%), South Korea (6%), Brazil (4.8%), Netherlands (2.6%), Peru (2.1%), Mexico (1.8%), Taiwan (1.5%), Spain (also 1.5%), Canada (1.4%) and India (1.2%).
From a continental perspective, 57.6% of Chile’s exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 18.5% were sold to importers in North America. Chile shipped 12% worth of goods to Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, with another 10.9% going to Europe.
Tinier percentages were exported to Africa (0.6%), then Oceania (0.4%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Given Chile’s population of 19.7 million people, the total $102.6 billion in 2022 Chilean exports translates to roughly $4,600 for every person in the Latin American nation. That per-capital amount is an increase over an average $3,500 for 2021.
Chile’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Chilean global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Chile.
- Ores, slag, ash: US$27.2 billion (26.6% of total exports)
- Copper: $21.6 billion (21%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $10.4 billion (10.1%)
- Fruits, nuts: $8 billion (7.8%)
- Fish: $7.5 billion (7.3%)
- Wood: $3.1 billion (3%)
- Woodpulp: $2.8 billion (2.7%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $1.9 billion (1.9%)
- Meat: $1.72 billion (1.7%)
- Machinery including computers: $1.7 billion (1.7%)
Chile’s top 10 exports accounted for 83.8% the overall value of its global shipments.
Inorganic chemicals: was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 334.5% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was fish via a 28.5% gain.
Chile’s shipments of fruits and nuts posted the third-fastest gain in value rising 23.9% year over year.
The leading decliner among Chile’s top 10 export categories was ores, slag and ash, incurring a -13.2% reduction.
Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Chile’s Most Valuable Export Products further down below.
Products Generating Biggest Trade Surpluses for Chile
The following types of Chilean product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.
In a nutshell, net exports equal the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.
- Ores, slag, ash: US$26.6 billion (Down by -12.6% since 2021)
- Copper: $21.4 billion (Down by -6.8%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $8 billion (Up by 616.9%)
- Fruits, nuts: $7.7 billion (Up by 26.5%)
- Fish: $7.3 billion (Up by 29.4%)
- Wood: $2.81 billion (Up by 34.7%)
- Woodpulp: $2.78 billion (Up by 4.5%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $1.13 billion (Down by -8.1%)
- Gems, precious metals: $1.12 billion (Down by -1%)
- Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $396.1 million (Up by 38.2%)
Chile has highly positive net exports in the international trade of copper, molybdenum, iron and zinc ores and concentrates. In turn, these cashflows indicate Chile’s strong competitive advantages for these essential construction materials under the ores, slag and ash category.
Products Causing Greatest Trade Deficits for Chile
Chile recorded an overall -$6.6 billion trade deficit in 2022, expanding by 191.2% from Chile’s -$2.3 billion in red ink for 2021.
Below are exports from Chile that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Chile’s goods trail Chilean importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$27.2 billion (Up by 58.9% since 2021)
- Vehicles: -$11.8 billion (Up by 24.6%)
- Machinery including computers: -$9 billion (Down by -3.3%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$8.1 billion (Down by -14%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$2.9 billion (Down by -5.6%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$2.1 billion (Down by -8.5%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$1.9 billion (Up by 37.1%)
- Cereals: -$1.8 billion (Up by 6.9%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$1.56 billion (Down by -2.9%)
- Iron, steel: -$1.52 billion (Down by -15.1%)
Chile has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for energy products including refined and processed petroleum oils, petroleum gas and coal.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Chile’s competitive disadvantages in the international mineral fuels including oil markets, but also represent key opportunities for Chile to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.
Chile’s Major Export Companies
According to Forbes Global 2000 rankings, the following 8 companies are examples of major Chilean export companies.
- AntarChile (investment services)
- BCI-Banco Credito (regional bank)
- Cencosud (food retail)
- CorpBanca (regional bank)
- Falabella (department stores)
- Latam Airlines (airline)
- Quinenco (investment conglomerate)
- SQM Materials (diversified chemicals)
Searchable List of Chile’s Most Valuable Export Products
The following searchable table displays 100 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Chile during 2022. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2021.
|Rank||Chile's Export Product||Value (US$)||Change|
|1||Copper ores, concentrates||$23,051,192,000||-13.5%|
|2||Refined copper, unwrought alloys||$18,298,895,000||-9.3%|
|4||Fish fillets, pieces||$3,911,883,000||+26.5%|
|6||Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)||$2,573,012,000||+8.8%|
|7||Apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums||$2,510,362,000||+22.4%|
|8||Whole fish (frozen)||$2,057,850,000||+32.2%|
|10||Grapes (fresh or dried)||$1,861,705,000||+95.1%|
|11||Molybdenum ores, concentrates||$1,840,999,000||+14.4%|
|12||Iron ores, concentrates||$1,646,955,000||-30.2%|
|14||Whole fish (fresh)||$1,056,543,000||+23.9%|
|16||Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)||$989,619,000||+24.4%|
|20||Hydrazine, inorganic salts||$707,917,000||+89.4%|
|21||Processed petroleum oils||$692,206,000||+131.1%|
|24||Frozen fruits, nuts||$644,831,000||+30.3%|
|25||Apples, pears (fresh)||$637,528,000||-10.8%|
|26||Ligneous fiberboard including wood||$593,286,000||+49.9%|
|27||Laminated wood (including plywood, veneer panels)||$551,491,000||+28.1%|
|30||Fluid transportation containers||$447,595,000||+33.7%|
|32||Zinc ores, concentrates||$424,016,000||-0.7%|
|34||Inedible meat flour||$408,190,000||+2%|
|37||Rubber tires (new)||$369,199,000||+19.3%|
|40||Crustaceans, molluscs (preserved/prepared)||$322,863,000||-4.2%|
|42||Aircraft or spacecraft parts||$298,247,000||+0%|
|47||Alloy steel bars, rods||$268,366,000||+21.6%|
|48||Fruit and vegetable juices||$258,086,000||+0.7%|
|49||Chemical woodpulp (dissolving)||$240,652,000||-26.6%|
|51||Fresh or dried citrus fruit||$222,126,000||-38.7%|
|53||Jams, fruits, jellies, marmalades||$205,156,000||+66.5%|
|55||Fish/marine mammal fats and oils||$197,441,000||+12.6%|
|56||Medication mixes in dosage||$196,936,000||+24.8%|
|57||Sowing seeds, fruits, spores||$194,724,000||+19.9%|
|58||Fuel wood, wood chips, sawdust||$193,040,000||-25.4%|
|59||Salts, pure sodium chloride||$183,568,000||+21.8%|
|61||Lead ores, concentrates||$164,831,000||-16.5%|
|62||Miscellaneous preserved fruits||$156,798,000||+15.3%|
|63||Copper waste, scrap||$153,719,000||+39.4%|
|64||Miscellaneous iron and steel structures||$150,234,000||+249.8%|
|66||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$139,406,000||+23.9%|
|67||Other food preparations||$137,211,000||-1.3%|
|68||Worked cereal grains (eg, hulled)||$135,625,000||+14.1%|
|69||Phone system devices||$130,208,000||+36.2%|
|70||Vegetable saps, extracts||$125,610,000||+10.3%|
|71||Particle board, other ligneous materials||$123,905,000||+29.5%|
|73||Iron or steel scrap||$118,110,000||+59.3%|
|75||Wood carpentry, builders' joinery||$111,683,000||+11.8%|
|76||Other aquatic invertebrates||$111,224,000||+44.8%|
|77||Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream||$110,715,000||+124.1%|
|78||Crustaceans (including lobsters)||$104,111,000||+18.2%|
|79||Flour/meal/starch/malt extract food preparations||$103,249,000||-11.7%|
|80||Base metal hand tools||$102,876,000||+2516.4%|
|81||Red meat offal||$98,439,000||-5.8%|
|83||Animal/vegetable boiled or oxidized fats, oils||$92,841,000||+18.4%|
|84||Glass bottles, flasks, jars, pots||$91,578,000||+19.2%|
|85||Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips||$91,410,000||-6.9%|
|88||Metal-containing ash, residues||$86,396,000||-27.6%|
|90||Boron oxides, boric acids||$83,625,000||+55.3%|
|92||Uncoated kraft paper||$79,281,000||+55.4%|
|93||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$74,896,000||+10.3%|
|94||Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared)||$74,779,000||+23.1%|
|95||Computers, optical readers||$72,556,000||-8.7%|
|96||Dried, salted, smoked fish||$72,533,000||+18%|
|98||Aluminum waste, scrap||$69,462,000||+30.3%|
These 100 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$95.2 billion or 92.7% by value for all products exported from Chile during 2022.
In macroeconomic terms, Chile’s total exported goods represent 17.8% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($575.5 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 17.8% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 17.2% for 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Chile’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Chile’s unemployment rate averaged 7.852% for 2022, down from an average 8.862% one year earlier according to the International Monetary Fund.
Chile’s capital city is Santiago.
See also Chile’s Top 10 Imports, Chile’s Top Trading Partners, Brazil’s Top 10 Exports and Top South American Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on March 27, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 27, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (Domestic Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on March 27, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 27, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 27, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 27, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 27, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Chile. Accessed on March 27, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on March 27, 2023