That dollar amount results from a -6.7% drop compared to the $41.8 billion in Colombian exports for 2018.
Year over year, the value of Colombia’s total exports in 2022 declined by -3.8% from $40.5 billion during 2021.
The 5 major buyers of Colombian exported products are the United States of America, Panama, India, mainland China and Ecuador. Combined, that quintet of main customers purchased about half (59.5%) of products exported from Colombia in 2022.
Applying a continental lens, over a third (36.4%) of Colombia’s exports by value was delivered to North American countries while 30.8% was sold to importers in Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean. Colombia shipped another 17.5% worth of goods to Asia.
Smaller percentages went to buyers in Europe (12.2%), Africa (2.4%) then Oceania (0.7%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Colombia’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing Colombia’s largest trading partners in terms of export sales. That is, countries that imported the most Colombian shipments by dollar value during 2022. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Colombian exports.
- United States: US$12 billion (30.9% of total Colombian exports)
- Panama: $5.7 billion (14.6%)
- India: $2.5 billion (6.3%)
- mainland China: $1.7 billion (4.4%)
- Ecuador: $1.3 billion (3.3%)
- Brazil: $1.2 billion (3.1%)
- Spain: $1.1 billion (2.8%)
- Mexico: $952.1 million (2.4%)
- Canada: $820.7 million (2.1%)
- Netherlands: $695.3 million (1.8%)
- Peru: $688 million (1.8%)
- Italy: $622.3 million (1.6%)
- Germany: $473.7 million (1.2%)
- Venezuela: $461.6 million (1.2%)
- Belgium: $436.2 million (1.1%)
- Ivory Coast: $433.3 million (1.1%)
- Japan: $430.3 million (1.1%)
- Chile: $422.6 million (1.1%)
- Bonaire/St Eustatius/Saba: $393.6 million (1%)
- Dominican Republic: $386.8 million (1%)
- United Kingdom: $362.6 million (0.9%)
- Türkiye: $345 million (0.9%)
- Guatemala: $292.9 million (0.8%)
- Egypt: $289.6 million (0.7%)
- Australia: $252 million (0.6%)
Almost nine-tenths (87.8%) of Colombian exports in 2022 was delivered to the above trade partners.
The fastest-growing buyers of products exported from Colombia are Ivory Coast (up 276.1% from 2021), Bonaire, St Eustatius plus Saba (up 215.5%), Panama (up 130.2%), Egypt (up 121.8%), India (up 61.6%), Spain (up 51.4%), Venezuela (up 39.4%), Australia (up 19.6%) and Canada (up 16.9%).
Türkiye was the severest decliner among Colombia’s top customers via its -72.8% reduction from 2021 to 2022 ahead of Chile (down -61.2%), mainland China (down -53.4%), Brazil (down -42%) and Peru (down -36.4%).
Countries Causing Colombia’s Largest Trade Deficits
Colombia recorded an overall -US$38.5 billion trade deficit during 2022, increasing by 86.6% from the -$20.6 billion in red ink one year earlier in 2021.
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.
Colombia incurred the highest trade deficits with the following top trade partners.
- mainland China: -US$17 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2022)
- United States: -$7 billion
- Brazil: -$4.3 billion
- Mexico: -$3.2 billion
- France: -$2.3 billion
- Germany: -$1.9 billion
- Argentina: -$1.5 billion
- Vietnam: -$1.04 billion
- Japan: -$1.01 billion
- South Korea: -$806.2 million
Among Colombia’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Colombian deficits with Brazil (up 196.3%), United States of America (up 163.3%) and South Korea (up 110.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Colombia’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Colombia to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Countries Generating Colombia’s Largest Trade Surpluses
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.
Colombia incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following top trade partners.
- Panama: US$5.6 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2022)
- India: $734.8 million
- Ivory Coast: $427.8 million
- Bonaire/St Eustatius/Saba: $393.6 million
- Ecuador: $363.1 million
- Venezuela: $353.4 million
- Dominican Republic: $325.8 million
- Egypt: $264.1 million
- Brunei Darussalam: $230.4 million
- Australia: $204.2 million
Among Colombia’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Colombian surpluses with Brunei Darussalam (up 7,679,566%), India (up 422%) and Ivory Coast (up 294.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Colombia’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Colombia to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Colombian Trading Partners
Six Colombian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. The following companies are selected examples of international trade companies headquartered in Colombia.
- Ecopetrol (fuel, petrochemicals)
- Grupo Argos (construction materials)
Wikipedia also lists exporters from Colombia. Selected examples are shown below.
- Alpina Productos Alimenticios (dairy products)
- Auteco (vehicles)
- Manuelita (sugar, fruits, vegetables)
- Organizacion Corona (ceramics)
- Ospina Coffee Company (coffee)
See also Colombia’s Top 10 Exports, Colombia’s Top 10 Imports, Peru’s Top Trading Partners, China’s Top Trading Partners and Panama’s Top 10 Exports
Central Intelligence Agency, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, The World Factbook. Accessed on May 15, 2023
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 15, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 15, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Colombia. Accessed on May 15, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 15, 2023