That estimated dollar metric results from a 191.4% increase from $4.5 billion five years earlier during 2018.
Year over year, the value of Honduran exports accelerated by 162.8% compared to $5 billion for 2021.
Previously called Spanish Honduras thus distinguishing the Central American republic from British Honduras (now Belize), Honduras shares its western border with Guatemala, southwest border with El Salvador and southeast border also with El Salvador. The republic’s south coastline is along the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca while the Honduran north coastline is surrounded by the Gulf of Honduras, a large Caribbean Sea inlet.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, Honduras uses the Honduran Lempira as its legal currency which depreciated by -2.4% against the US dollar since 2018 and weakened by -2% from 2021 to 2022. The weaker Honduran currency in 2022 made goods exported from Honduras paid for in stronger US dollars relatively lesser expensive for international buyers.
Best Honduran Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data shows that 82.9% of products exported from Honduras was bought by importers in: United States of America (43.3% of the Honduran total), Germany (6.7%), El Salvador (5.9%), Guatemala (4.5%), Nicaragua (4.3%), Belgium (3.8%), Netherlands (3.4%), United Kingdom (2.7%), Mexico (2.6%), Costa Rica (2.4%), France (1.7%) and Taiwan (1.5%).
From a continental perspective, 47.2% of Honduras’ exports by value was delivered to North American countries while 24.5% was sold to importers in Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean. Honduras shipped another 23.3% worth of goods to importers in Europe.
Smaller percentages went to buyers in Asia (4.2%), Oceania (0.6%) mostly Australia and New Zealand, then Africa (0.2%).
Given Honduras population of 10.3 million people, its total $$13.1 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $1,275 for every resident in the Central American country. That per-capita average eclipses the average $760 one year earlier in 2021.
Honduras Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Honduran global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Honduras.
- Knitted or crocheted clothing, accessories: US$4.4 billion (33.7% of total exports)
- Coffee, tea, spices: $1.7 billion (13.2%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $1.3 billion (9.6%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $724.6 million (5.5%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $609.2 million (4.7%)
- Fruits, nuts: $582.4 million (4.5%)
- Fish: $407.6 million (3.1%)
- Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $266.2 million (2%)
- Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $189.1 million (1.4%)
- Iron, steel: $172.7 million (1.3%)
Honduras’ top 10 exports accounted for 79.2% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Knitted or crocheted clothing and accessories represents the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 99,201 from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was unknitted and non-crocheted clothing and accessories via a 9,523% advance.
Honduran shipments of tobacco including manufactured substitutes posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 315.9%.
The lone decliner among Honduras’ top 10 export categories was fish, recording a -32.2% year-over-year drop.
The above listed product categories are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level.
Drilling down to the more detailed 4-digit HTS codes, Honduras’ most valuable exported products were knitted or crocheted t-shirts and vests (16.1% of Honduras’ global total), coffee (13.1%), knitted or crocheted jerseys and pullovers (12.1%), insulated wire or cable (8.8%), palm oil (3.9%), bananas including plantains (2.4%), crustaceans including lobsters (also 2.4%), cigars and cigarettes (1.8%), unknitted and non-crocheted garments made from special garments (1.4%), then knitted or crocheted men’s suits and trousers (also 1.4%).
Products Generating Best Trade Surpluses for Honduras
The following types of Honduran 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 represent 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.
- Knitted or crocheted clothing, accessories: US$3.7 billion (Reversing a -$56 million deficit in 2021)
- Coffee, tea, spices: $1.7 billion (Up by 33.1% since 2021)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $587.6 million (Up by 218.3%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $555.7 million (Reversing a -$67.2 million defict)
- Fruits, nuts: $500.8 million (Up by 165%)
- Fish: $403.8 million (Down by -31.1%)
- Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $193.5 million (Up by 307.3%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $174.3 million (Up by 555.3%)
- Gems, precious metals: $138.3 million (Down by -28.4%)
- Vegetables: $110.8 million (Up by 15.2%)
The Honduras has highly positive net exports in the international trade of knitted or crocheted clothing and accessories as well as coffee, cardamoms, coffee husks, pepper and ginger. In turn, these positive cashflows indicate Honduras’ strong competitive advantages under the related product categories.
Products Causing Largest Trade Deficits for Honduras
Honduras incurred a -$3.8 billion trade deficit for 2022, shrinking -43% from -$6.7 billion in red ink one year earlier for 2021.
Below are exports from Honduras that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Honduras’ goods trail Honduran importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$2.7 billion (Up by 58.7% since 2021)
- Cotton: -$1.07 billion (Up by 6,067%)
- Machinery including computers: -$1.06 billion (Up by 32.3%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$679.6 million (Up by 28.5%)
- Manmade staple fibers: -$663.8 million (Up by 8,423%)
- Vehicles: -$635.4 million (Down by -30.1%)
- Cereals: -$518.9 million (Up by 38.5%)
- Paper, paper items: -$377.1 million (Up by 79.1%)
- Iron, steel: -$346.8 million (Down by -39.7%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$298.1 million (Down by -55.7%)
Honduras has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits notably for refined petroleum oils under the mineral fuels-related product category.
These cashflow deficiencies also indicate Honduras’ competitive disadvantages in the processed fossil fuel market, but also represent key opportunities for Honduras to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations especially for alternative energy.
Honduran Export Companies
Not one Honduran corporation ranks among the companies showcased by the Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia does list companies from Honduras that engage in international business pursuits. Selected examples are shown below.
- AeroCaribe de Honduras (airliner)
- Aerolíneas Sosa (airliner)
- InterAirports (international airports administrator)
- New York and Honduras Rosario Mining Company (gold, silver)
- Tegu (toys)
In macroeconomic terms, Honduras’ total exported goods represent 18.6% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($70.3 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 18.6% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to an estimated 7.9% for 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Honduras’ total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe and estimated metrics.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Honduras’ unemployment rate averaged 8.7% in 2022, up from the average 8.6% jobless rate for 2021 according to statistics from Trading Economics.
Tegucigalpa is the Honduran capital city.
See also Honduras Top 10 Imports, El Salvador’s Top 10 Exports, Coffee Exports by Country, Bananas Exports by Country and Palm Oil Exports by Country
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on June 10, 2023
Forbes, 2018 Global 2000 rankingsThe World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 10, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (Domestic Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on June 10, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 10, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 10, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 10, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 10, 2023
Wikipedia, Honduras. Accessed on June 10, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Honduras. Accessed on June 10, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 10, 2023