That dollar amount results from a 10.1% increase compared to $9 billion during 2018.
Year over year, the overall value of Paraguay’s exports fell by -5.6% from $10.5 billion in 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the Paraguayan guaraní fell by -21.8% against the US dollar since 2018 and diluted by -3.1% from 2021 to 2022. Paraguay’s weaker local currency make Paraguayan exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Best International Customers for Paraguayan Exports
The latest available country-specific data shows that 85.1% of products exported from Paraguay were bought by importers in: Brazil (36.8% of the global total), Argentina (19.5%), Chile (11.4%), Russia (3.6%), United States (2.6%), Taiwan (2.2%), Uruguay (2%), India (1.6%), Israel (1.44%), Poland (1.36%), Peru (1.33%) and Pakistan (1.27%).
From a continental perspective, almost three-quarters (73.2%) of Paraguay’s exported goods was sold to Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, with 12.7% worth going to Asia. Another 9.3% was delivered to Europe.
Smaller percentages were sold to customers in North America (3.2%), Africa (1.5%), then Oceania (0.1%) led by Australia.
Given Paraguay’s population of 7.5 million people, its total $9.95 billion in 2022 exports translates to $1,300 for every resident in the South American nation. That per-capita dollar amount falls below the average $1,500 one year earlier in 2021.
Paraguay’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups categorize the highest dollar value in Paraguayan global shipments during 2022 at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Paraguay.
- Meat: US$1.8 billion (18.4% of total exports)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $1.7 billion (16.8%)
- Cereals: $1.5 billion (15%)
- Oil seeds: $1.4 billion (14%)
- Food industry waste, animal fodder: $677.6 million (6.8%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $646.6 million (6.5%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $293.1 million (2.9%)
- Aluminum: $153.9 million (1.5%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $146.7 million (1.5%)
- Other chemical goods: $136.8 million (1.4%)
Paraguay’s top 10 exports accounted for 84.9% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Miscellaneous chemical goods represent the fastest grower among Paraguay’s top 10 export categories, up by 99.5% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was cereals, a product category rising 93.7% led by Paraguayan exports of corn.
Paraguay’s shipments of beverages, spirits and vinegar posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 56.3% year over year.
The leading decliner among Paraguay’s top 10 export categories was oil seeds, dragged down by a -55.4% reduction.
Drilling down to the more detailed 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, Paraguay’s most lucrative exports are electrical energy (16.8% of total Paraguayan exports), soya beans (12.3%), corn (10.9%), fresh or chilled beef (8.9%), frozen beef (8.5%), soya-bean oil-cake and other solid residues (5.9%), soya-bean oil (5.4%), rice (2.9%), insulated wire or cable (2.8%), then oil seeds (1.5%).
Products Generating Paraguay’s Greatest Trade Surpluses
The following types of Paraguayan 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.
- Meat: US$1.8 billion (Up by 9.9% since 2021)
- Cereals: $1.4 billion (Up by 102.5%)
- Oil seeds: $1.3 billion (Down by -56.5%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $621.3 million (Down by -7.6%)
- Food industry waste, animal fodder: $592.6 million (Down by -21.6%)
- Wood: $78.6 million (Up by 35.6%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $64.6 million (Reversing a -$2 billion deficit)
- Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $57.5 million (Down by -16.8%)
- Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: $56.4 million (Up by 37%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $26.8 million (Reversing a -$152.7 million deficit)
Paraguay has highly positive net exports in the international trade of meat, cereals and oil seeds. That latter commodity represents products used for making edible oils and producing biodiesel. It also serves as high protein animal feed. Positive cashflows indicate Paraguay’s strong competitive advantages under the related product categories.
Products Causing Paraguay’s Greatest Trade Deficits
Paraguay incurred a total -$1.8 billion trade deficit for 2022, a -39.7% reduction from the -$3 billion in red ink one year earlier during 2021.
Below are exports from Paraguay that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Paraguay’s goods trail Paraguayan importer spending on foreign products.
- Machinery including computers: -US$1.8 billion (Up by 8.4% since 2021)
- Mineral fuels including oil: -$909.2 million (Up by 498.6%)
- Fertilizers: -$765.4 million (Up by 28.3%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$488.8 million (Up by 5.1%)
- Other chemical goods: -$474 million (Up by 17.1%)
- Rubber, rubber articles: -$423.4 million (Up by 17%)
- Organic chemicals: -$380.6 million (Up by 27.2%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$359.3 million (Up by 6.8%)
- Iron, steel: -$323.5 million (Down by -19.6%)
- Perfumes, cosmetics: -$194 million (Up by 24.4%)
Paraguay has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for electronics-related goods including consumer electronics.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Paraguay’s competitive disadvantages in the international electronics market, but also represent key opportunities for Paraguay to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.
Paraguay’s Exports Companies
According to Wikipedia, the following companies are examples of leading Paraguayan companies.
- Banco Amambay (bank)
- Funcionale (electronics company)
- Itaú Unibanco (bank)
- Petróleos Paraguayos (oil and gas company)
- TAM Airlines (airliner)
In macroeconomic terms, Paraguay’s total exported goods represent 9.2% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($108.5 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 9.2% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 10.5% for 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Paraguay’s total economic performance, albeit based on a very short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Paraguay’s unemployment rate averaged 7.185% in 2022, down from an average 7.51% for 2021 according to the International Monetary Fund.
Paraguay’s capital city is Asunción, of which the metropolitan area is home to nearly a third of the country’s population.
See also Brazil’s Top 10 Imports, Brazil’s Top Trading Partners, Argentina’s Top 10 Imports and Top South American Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 16, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 16, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (Domestic Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on April 16, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 16, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 16, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 16, 2023
Wikipedia, Companies of Paraguay by industry. Accessed on April 16, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on April 16, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on April 16, 2023