Year over year, South America’s most recent total for its exported products accelerated by 34.9% from $456.1 billion during 2020.
To give some perspective, global exports from all countries worldwide equaled $21.953 trillion in 2021, rising 25% in value compared to 2017 and appreciating by 25.5% from 2020 to 2021.
To give further context, South American exports in 2021 represents an estimated 2.8% of the world’s exported goods. That percentage reflects an upswing from 2.6% one year earlier in 2020.
Calculated using statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, the aggregate Gross Domestic Product for all South American countries (on a Purchasing Power Parity basis) amounted to roughly $7.030 trillion for 2021.
Therefore, exports account for approximately 8.8% of South America’s total economic output for 2021, up from 7.2% one year earlier. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing importance of exports on South America’s economic performance.
Given South America’s population of 432.5 million people, the $615.3 billion in South American exports for 2021 translates to roughly $1,400 for every person living on the continent. That metric reflects a robust increase from the average $1,055 in exports per capita in 2020.
Top South American Export Countries
Below are the South American export countries sorted in order by those attained the highest dollar value in global shipments during 2021. Also shown is each country’s overall share of South American exports plus the change in value year over year.
|Rank||Exporter||2021 Exports||Continent Total||2020-1|
|13.||Falkland Is (Malvinas)||$320,570,000||0.05%||-23.3%|
Collectively, South America’s top 3 export countries (Brazil, Chile, Argentina) accounted for almost three-quarters (73.4%) of the overall value for all goods shipped from that continent in 2021.
The value of Brazil’s shipments approaches half (45.6%) of all exports from South America. The most valuable Brazilian exports iron ores and concentrates, soya beans, crude petroleum oil, and sugar.
The South American countries that grew the value of their international trade shipments at the fastest pace were Bolivia (up 57.2% from 2020), Guyana (up 51.2%), Peru (up 45.2%), Argentina (up 41.8%), Uruguay (up 35.6%) and Brazil (up 34.2%).
As in 2020, crude oil seller Venezuela led the decliners this time due to a -26.5% drop from 2020 to 2021. The only other decline belongs to Falkland Islands (Malvina) weighed down by its -23.3% reduction.
See also Argentina’s Top 10 Exports, Brazil’s Top 10 Exports, Chile’s Top Trade Partners and Guyana’s Top 10 Exports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports and World Population. Accessed on July 22, 2022
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on July 22, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 22, 2022
Wikipedia, Economy of Venezuela. Accessed on July 22, 2022
Wikipedia, List of South American countries by population. Accessed on July 22, 2022
WorldOMeter, South America Population. Accessed on July 22, 2022