Applying a continental lens, 31.1% of Ecuador’s exports by value were delivered to North American countries while 27.7% were sold to importers in Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean. Ecuador shipped another 21.6% worth of goods to Asia. Another 18.6%. went to European nations.
Smaller percentages went to Africa (0.7%) and Oceania led by New Zealand and Australia (0.2%).
Ecuador’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Ecuador’s top trading partners. That is, countries that imported the most Ecuadorian shipments by dollar value during 2019. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Ecuadorian exports.
- United States: US$6.7 billion (30.2% of Ecuador’s total exports)
- China: $2.9 billion (13%)
- Panama: $1.9 billion (8.6%)
- Chile: $1.5 billion (6.7%)
- Peru: $952 million (4.3%)
- Russia: $879.7 million (3.9%)
- Colombia: $855 million (3.8%)
- Spain: $639.1 million (2.9%)
- Netherlands: $571.5 million (2.6%)
- Italy: $472.5 million (2.1%)
- Japan: $349.5 million (1.6%)
- Vietnam: $333.5 million (1.5%)
- Germany: $331.7 million (1.5%)
- France: $280.7 million (1.3%)
- Turkey: $241.5 million (1.1%)
Over four-fifths (84.8%) of overall Ecuadorian exports in 2019 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
The fastest increased consumption of exports from Ecuador from 2018 to 2019 was by: China (up 93.9%), Panama (up 54.3%), Turkey (up 42.7%) and the Netherlands (up 31.2%).
There were 4 decliners year over year namely Vietnam (down -72.5%), Peru (down -41.1%), Germany (down -32.9%) and Italy (down -27%).
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.
Ecuador incurred a subtotal -$4.4 billion trade deficit with the following 10 countries.
- China: US-$940.9 million (country-specific trade deficit in 2019)
- Brazil: -$794.2 million
- Colombia: -$742.3 million
- Mexico: -$518.9 million
- South Korea: -$317.4 million
- Canada: -$264.4 million
- Bolivia: -$209.6 million
- Thailand: -$208.2 million
- Japan: -$191.6 million
- India: -$172.3 million
Among Ecuador’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Ecuadorian deficits with India (up 682%) and Canada (up 29.6%) grew from 2018 to 2019.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Ecuador’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Ecuador to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Overall Ecuador posted a $2.1 billion trade surplus for 2019, reversing -$1.4 billion in red 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.
Ecuador earned a subtotal $6 billion trade surplus with the following countries.
- United States: US$2.3 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2019)
- Chile: $1 billion
- Panama: $878.4 million
- Russia: $581.3 million
- Netherlands: $249 million
- Italy: $211 million
- Peru: $208.5 million
- Vietnam: $187.2 million
- Turkey: $165.3 million
- Nicaragua: $131.2 million
Among Ecuador’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Ecuadorian surpluses with Panama (up 647.6%), Nicaragua (up 363.9%) and Turkey (up 69.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Ecuador’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Ecuador to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Ecuadorian Trading Partners
Not one Ecuadorian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia does list exporters from Ecuador. Selected examples are shown below:
- Corporación Nacional de Telecomunicaciones–CNT EP (telecommunications)
- Ecua-Andino Hats (panama hats)
- Marathon Sports (sport equipment)
- TAME EP Linea Aerea del Ecuador (airliner)
- Tiendas Industriales Asociadas S.A.–Tía S.A. (discount retailer)
- Zhumir Latin Spirit (liquor)
See also Ecuador’s Top 10 Exports, Ecuador’s Top 10 Imports and Top South American Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook South America: Ecuador. Accessed on March 30, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 30, 2020
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on March 30, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 30, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 30, 2020
Wikipedia, Ecuador. Accessed on March 30, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Ecuador. Accessed on March 30, 2020