Chile: Exports And Imports

Copper mining in Chile: Chile produces over one-third of the world's copper.
Copper mining in Chile: Chile produces over one-third of the world's copper.

Economy Of Chile

The economy of Chile is one of the most stable in South America and has the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita throughout Latin America. Its economy is the 44th largest in the world, both in exports and imports. In 2014, the country exported $77.3 billion worth of goods and imported $69.1 billion. This gave Chile a trade surplus of $8.22 billion. Below is a closer look at the exports and imports of the economy of Chile.

Chile Exports

The largest export category in Chile is metals, which represents almost one-third of all exports, $23.2 billion. The three most exported products within this category are refined copper (23%), raw copper (3.8%), and copper wire (.7%). After metals, mineral products, and vegetable products are the next largest export categories, representing $20.5 billion and $7.43 billion respectively. The second largest exported good is copper ore, which falls under the mineral products category and makes up 21% of all exports. This means that refined copper and copper ore represent 44% of the exports from Chile. The mining sector is one of the biggest industries in the country.

Chile’s top three export partners are China ($18.9 billion, or 25%), the US ($9.3 billion, or 12%), and Japan ($7.81 billion, or 10%). Together, these countries import 47% of Chile’s exports. China is the top importer of refined copper (44%), followed by the US (13%). Copper ore is imported by China (33%) and Japan (28%).

Aside from refined copper and copper ore, China also imports raw copper ($1.23 billion) and sulfate chemical woodpulp ($1.17 billion). The US, China’s second largest importer, imports fish fillets ($1.38 billion) and grapes ($694 million). The second and third largest export products to Japan are non-fillet frozen fish ($615 million) and fish fillets ($452 million).

Chile Imports

The largest type of import into the economy of Chile is machines, which make up nearly one-quarter of total imports at $15.2 billion. Within this category, the most commonly imported goods are broadcasting equipment (2%), computers (1.8%), and video displays (1.2%). After machines, mineral products and transportation are the next biggest category of imports. Within these two categories are Chile’s three principal imports: crude petroleum ($5.43 billion, or 7.9%), refined petroleum ($5.33 billion, or 7.7%), and cars ($3.8 billion, or 5.5%).

Chile’s top three import partners are China ($14.8 billion, or 21%), the US ($14 billion, or 20%), and Brazil ($5.31 billion, 7.7%). The major suppliers of crude petroleum (Chile’s top import) are Brazil (43%), Ecuador (36%), and Angola (6.4%). The US is responsible for providing the vast majority of Chile’s second largest imported good, refined petroleum (90%). The number 2 and 3 suppliers are Japan (4.5%) and the Netherlands (1.4%). The third largest imported product here are cars, which make up 5.5% of total imports. The top countries to supply cars to the market in Chile are South Korea (26%), Japan (22%), and the US (10%).


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