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Statistical Bulletin: International trade in goods in Latin America and the Caribbean

South America: Exports in Goods.
January - December 2017 (in millions of current dollars)


Central America: Exports in Goods.
January - December 2017 (in millions of current dollars)

  • In 2017, the total exports of Latin America and the Caribbean reached US$ 978,632 million and imports were US$ 976,495 million. The trade surplus of US$ 2,137 million on the year reflected the region’s strong export growth following the decline in 2016. Both the region’s exports and imports rose with respect to 2016 with export growth outstripping the global average (+12.8% vs. +10.1%) and imports expanding at a slower pace than the global average (+8.7% vs. +11.2%).
  • Latin America and the Caribbean’s slight trade surplus in 2017 was driven mainly by surpluses in Brazil and Venezuela, B.R., which were supplemented by smaller surpluses in Chile, Peru, and Suriname. Despite finishing the year in surplus, the region’s trade balance was negative in the second half of the year as rising imports of intermediate inputs led to increased trade deficits in Mexico and Argentina.
  • Prices for many of the metals and mineral commodities produced by the region increased substantially in 2017. In addition to improved prices for petroleum producers, the prices of aluminum, copper, lead, coal, iron ore, and zinc all rose by over 25%. Precious metals gold and silver remained flat. Agricultural commodity prices were mixed, with food oils and oil seeds rising sharply, but cocoa beans, coffee, sugar, tobacco, and wheat all declining.
  • Bilateral surpluses and deficits grew throughout 2017, with the region’s trade surplus with the United States expanding to US$ 116 billion as its deficit with Asia grew to US$ 107 billion. Exports to Asia grew rapidly throughout the year, particularly to China. In 2017, 20.1% of Latin American and Caribbean exports were sold to Asia, up from 18.1% the year before.
  • Intra-regional trade grew 10.4% in 2017 and accounted for 16.0% of the region’s exports to the world (excluding Mexico it was 21.7%). Although having grown in absolute terms in comparison to 2016, intraregional trade as a percentage of total trade continues to fall in each subregion of Latin America and the Caribbean.