That dollar total reflects a 37.6% increase from $19.1 billion in 2017 and a 29.9% uptick from $20.2 billion during 2020.
Ecuador’s official currency is US dollars.
Comprising its main customers, the top 5 importers for Ecuadorian exported products were the United States of America, Panama, mainland China, Chile and Russia. Collectively, that international group of customers purchased over three-fifths (61.4%) of Ecuador’s overall exports in 2021 as measured by dollar value.
Viewed from a continental lens, 28.1% of Ecuador’s exports by value were delivered to importers also in Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean. Another 25.8% was sold to customers in North America, with 23.5% worth of goods going to Asia and 21.1% arriving in Europe.
Tinier percentages were purchased by importers in Africa (1.3%) and Oceania (0.2%) led by New Zealand and Australia.
Ecuador’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 25 of Ecuador’s top trading partners. That is, countries that imported the most Ecuadorian shipments by dollar value during 2021. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Ecuadorian exports.
- United States: US$6.4 billion (24.4% of Ecuador’s total exports)
- Panama: $4 billion (15.1%)
- China: $3.6 billion (13.9%)
- Chile: $1.1 billion (4.3%)
- Russia: $999.8 million (3.8%)
- Colombia: $851.9 million (3.2%)
- Spain: $732 million (2.8%)
- Netherlands: $684.9 million (2.6%)
- India: $658.3 million (2.5%)
- Peru: $618.6 million (2.4%)
- Italy: $550.1 million (2.1%)
- France: $383 million (1.5%)
- Germany: $363.5 million (1.4%)
- United Kingdom: $287.8 million (1.1%)
- Switzerland: $264.2 million (1%)
- Japan: $260.5 million (1%)
- Argentina: $246.3 million (0.9%)
- Belgium: $240.6 million (0.9%)
- Turkey: $218.9 million (0.8%)
- Malaysia: $207 million (0.8%)
- South Korea: $206 million (0.8%)
- Finland: $202.7 million (0.8%)
- Canada: $189.8 million (0.7%)
- Mexico: $168 million (0.6%)
- Indonesia: $165.7 million (0.6%)
Nine-tenths (90%) of overall Ecuadorian exports in 2021 were delivered to the above 25 trade partners.
The fastest increased consumption of exports from Ecuador from 2020 to 2021 was by: India (up 304%), South Korea (up 143%), Mexico (up 84.9%), Switzerland (up 75.7%), Panama (up 63.3%) and Canada (up 59.6%).
There were 4 double-digit decliners namely Turkey (down -27.2%), Japan (down -23.3%), Indonesia (down -16.5%) and Finland (down -15.4%).
Countries Driving Ecuador’s Largest 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.
- China: -US$2.4 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2021)
- Colombia: -$935.3 million
- Brazil: -$877.2 million
- South Korea: -$711.4 million
- Mexico: -$547.6 million
- Canada: -$353.3 million
- Bolivia: -$328.7 million
- Japan: -$323 million
- Argentina: -$316.7 million
- Thailand: -$250.7 million
Among Ecuador’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Ecuadorian deficits with Japan (up 727.5%), Argentina (up 255.3%) and China (up 217.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.
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.
Countries Behind Ecuador’s Best Trade Surpluses
Ecuador posted an overall $549.3 million trade surplus for 2021, decreasing by -77.3% compared to the $2.4 billion in surplus in 2020.
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.
- Panama: US$3.8 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2021)
- United States of America: $721.8 million
- Chile: $581.6 million
- Netherlands: $531.1 million
- Russia: $475.1 million
- India: $266.8 million
- France: $185.1 million
- Finland: $173.7 million
- Switzerland: $161.8 million
- Turkey: $139.3 million
Among Ecuador’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Ecuadorian surpluses with Switzerland (up 165.4%), France (up 74.8%) and Panama (up 68.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.
In addition, Ecuador reversed a -$99 million deficit trading with India in 2020.
The listed 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, Colombia’s Top Trading Partners, Chile’s Top Trading Partners and Argentina’s Top Trading Partners
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook South America: Ecuador. Accessed on July 5, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on July 5, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 5, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 5, 2022
Wikipedia, Ecuador. Accessed on July 5, 2022
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Ecuador. Accessed on July 5, 2022