That estimated dollar metric results from an -87.4% reduction from $37.9 billion five years earlier in 2018.
Year over year, the value of Venezuela’s exported goods accelerated by 32.4% compared to $3.6 billion for 2021.
A federal republic on South America’s northern coast, Venezuela is bordered by Guyana to its east, Brazil to its south and Colombia to its west.
Historically, Venezuela is highly dependent on its petroleum oil exports. That concentrated percentage shows Venezuela’s vulnerability to a lower oil prices.
Given Venezuela’s population of 26.9 million people, the estimated $4.8 billion in 2022 Venezuelan exports translates to about $180 per person. That dollar metric exceeds the average $120 per capita for 2021.
Venezuela’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Venezuelan global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Venezuela.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$1.2 billion (26.1% of total exports)
- Iron, steel: $1 billion (21%)
- Organic chemicals: $469.1 million (9.9%)
- Aluminum: $402.2 million (8.4%)
- Fish: $357.6 million (7.5%)
- Fertilizers: $181.9 million (3.8%)
- Gems, precious metals: $161.7 million (3.4%)
- Copper: $151.3 million (3.2%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $114.2 million (2.4%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $113.8 million (2.4%)
Venezuela’s top 10 export product categories accounted for 88.1% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Mineral fuels including oil was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 1,168% from 2021 to 2022. Crude oil was the primary driver for this increase.
In second place for improving export sales was aluminum via a 179.3% gain.
Venezuela’s shipments of fertilizers posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 150.4%.
The leading decliner among Venezuela’s top 10 export categories was ores, slag and ash which was dragged down by a -73.3% year-over-year drop. Iron ores and concentrates was one of the biggest losers for this product grouping.
From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, iron or steel scrap represents Venezuela’s most valuable exported product accounting for 13.6% of the country’s total. In second place were petroleum oil residues (12.5%) trailed by crude oil (12%), acyclic alcohols (9.4%), raw aluminum (7.4%), lobsters and other crustaceans (4.8%), iron ore reduced products (4%), nitrogenous fertilizers (3.8%), unwrought gold (3.2%), then iron or non-alloy steel semi-finished products (2.7%).
The 10 major products from the more detailed HTS code perspective generated almost three-quarters (73.2%) of overall Venezuelan export sales for 2022.
Products Generating Highest Trade Surpluses for Venezuela
The following types of Venezuelan 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.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$1 billion (Down by -681.1% since 2021)
- Iron, steel: $879.3 million (Down by -7.1%)
- Fish: $344.4 million (Up by 16%)
- Aluminum: $343.7 million (Up by 191.2%)
- Organic chemicals: $310.8 million (Down by -34.8%)
- Fertilizers: $154.1 million (Up by 273.2%)
- Gems, precious metals: $147.4 million (Up by 34.9%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $113.7 million (Down by -73.3%)
- Copper: $100.6 million (Up by 30.5%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $36.8 million (Down by -9.5%)
Venezuela has highly positive net exports particularly in the international trade of petroleum oil residues and crude oil. In turn, these cashflows indicate Venezuela’s strong competitive advantages under the mineral fuels including oil product category.
Products Causing Worst Trade Deficits for Venezuela
Venezuela posted an overall -US$6.1 billion trade deficit during 2022, up 29.6% from the -$4.7 billion in red ink one year earlier in 2021.
Below are exports from Venezuela that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Venezuela’s goods trail Venezuelan importer spending on foreign products.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -US$1.1 billion (Up by 25.7% since 2021)
- Machinery including computers: -$894 million (Up by 36.7%)
- Cereals: -$783.7 million (Up by 14%)
- Vehicles: -$598.9 million (Up by 58.3%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$564.6 million (Up by 50.1%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$455.6 million (Up by 14.1%)
- Cereal/milk preparations: -$376.5 million (Up by 13.9%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$350.5 million (Up by 23%)
- Food industry waste, animal fodder: -$343.4 million (Up by 60.9%)
- Rubber, rubber articles: -$272.7 million (Up by 71.9%)
Venezuela has highly negative net exports and therefore international trade deficits notably for machinery including electronics and computers.
Major Venezuelan Export Companies
Two Venezuelan corporations ranked among Forbes Global 2000, namely:
- Mercantil Servicios
- Banco Occidental
Both corporations are regional banks.
Wikipedia lists exporters from Venezuela. Selected examples are shown below.
Citgo Petroleum Corporation and Petróleos de Venezuela are two of Venezuela’s largest oil and gas companies.
CVG Alcasa is a leading aluminum producer. Siderúrgica del Orinoco and Siderúrgica del Turbio, S.A. are examples of Venezuelan steel manufacturers.
In macroeconomic terms, Venezuela’s total exported goods represented 1.8% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($195.4 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That percentage compares to 3.3% one year earlier in 2021. Those percentages suggest a lessening dependence on international trade for Venezuela’s overall economic performance, albeit based on a very short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Venezuela’s average unemployment rate for 2022 was 5.33%, down from an average 6.47% one year earlier in 2021 according to Statista.
Venezuela’s capital is Caracas, a city nicknamed The Avila’s Sultana.
See also Venezuela’s Top 10 Imports, Brazil’s Top 10 Imports, Top South American Export Countries and Argentina’s Top 10 Imports
Central Intelligence Agency, South America: Venezuela. Accessed on August 3, 2023
Forbes 2022 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 3, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on August 3, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 3, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 3, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 3, 2023
The World Bank, Official Exchange Rate (LCU per US$, period average) – Venezuela. Accessed on August 3, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on August 3, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Venezuela. Accessed on August 3, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on August 3, 2023
Wikipedia, Venezuela. Accessed on August 3, 2023
WorldOMeter, Venezuela Population. Accessed on August 3, 2023