Uruguay's Top Import And Exports

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Uruguay's capital city has a flowery nickname in Spanish, which translates to Reconqueror. Montevideo scores are high on the personal safety factor. Uruguay was the world's 95th top exporter in 2019, shipping an estimated 7.8 billion dollars worth of goods.

Uruguay’s Top 10 Imports

Uruguay imported 7.7 billion dollars in goods from around the world in 2020, a 2.6 percent increase since 2016, but a minus 7.8 percent decrease from 2019 to 2020.

Over four-fifths or 41.1 percent of Uruguay's total imports by value in 2020 were purchased from fellow Latin American countries excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean. 

Asian trade partners supplied 23.5 percent of Uruguayan import purchases. 

Another 15.3 percent came from North America, and 14.8 percent came from Europe.

African exporters with 5.2 percent and Oceania with 0.2 percent, led by New Zealand and Australia, had lower percentages.

Given the South American country's population of 3.53 million people, Uruguay's total of 7.7 billion dollars in 2020 imports equates to roughly 2,200 dollars in yearly product demand from each individual.

In 2020, the following product groups have the highest dollar value in Uruguay's import purchases. 

The percentage share of each product category in terms of total imports into Uruguay is also shown.

Mineral fuels, including oil, totaled 933.3 million dollars accounting for 12.2 percent of total imports

749.3 million dollars for machinery, including computers at 9.8 percent 

668.6 million dollars for vehicles at 8.7 percent

593.9 million dollars for electrical machinery and equipment 7.7 percent 

Plastics and plastic products at 405.7 million dollars at 5.3 percent

275.3 million dollars in pharmaceuticals at 3.6 percent

267 million dollars for other chemical goods at 3.5 percent 

259 million dollars for meat at 3.4 percent 

232.9 million dollars for fertilizers at 3 percent 

Food waste and animal fodder with 200.2 million dollars at 2.6 percent 

Uruguay's top ten imports accounted for 59.6 percent of the total value of its foreign product purchases.

Food industry waste and animal fodder up by 22.3 percent, pharmaceuticals up by 7.7 percent, and meat were the three biggest gainers among Uruguay's top ten import categories from 2019 to 2020 up by 7.6 percent.

Mineral fuels, including oil, were the leading decliner, with a minus 5.2 percent year-on-year decrease. 

Lower costs for Uruguay's international purchases of petroleum oils and gas dragged down this category.

Uruguay’s Top 10 Exports

The Oriental Republic of Uruguay, located in southeastern South America, shipped 7.01 billion dollars in goods around the world in 2020. 

This dollar amount represents a minus 0.01 percent decrease since 2016 and a minus 10.3 percent decrease from 2019 to 2020.

Uruguay's top five exports by value are frozen beef, rough wood, soya beans, concentrated or sweetened milk and cream, and rice. 

That quintet of leading exports accounts for more than half or 53.6 percent of total Uruguayan shipments.

From a continental standpoint, 51.4 percent of Uruguay's exports by value were delivered to Latin America, excluding Mexico but including Caribbean countries, while 23.6 percent were sold to Asian importers. 

Uruguay exported 9.9 percent of its goods, with 9.5 percent going to North America.

Africa with 5.4 percent and Oceania with 0.2 percent, led by French Polynesia, New Zealand, and Australia, received smaller percentages.

Given the South American country's population of 3.53 million people, Uruguay's total exports of 7.01 billion dollars in 2020 equate to roughly 2,000 dollars for each resident.

The export product groups listed below have the highest dollar value in Uruguayan global shipments in 2020. 

The percentage share of each export category in terms of total Uruguayan exports is also shown.

1.8 billion dollars for meat at 25.7 percent of total exports

975.1 million dollars for wood at 13.9 percent 

804.1 million dollars for oil seeds at 11.5 percent 

676.9 million dollars in dairy, eggs, and honey at 9.7 percent 

Cereals are worth 574.5 million dollars at 8.2 percent 

242.4 million dollars in plastics and plastic articles at 3.5 percent 

Milling products, malt, and starches totaled 204.9 million dollars at 2.9 percent 

144.2 million dollars in pharmaceuticals at 2.1 percent 

136.6 million dollars for animal or vegetable fats, oils, and waxes at 1.9 percent 

113.8 million dollars for live animals at 1.6 percent 

The top ten exports from Uruguay accounted for 80.9 percent of the total value of its global shipments.

Cereals were the fastest-growing export category among the top ten, increasing by 21.9 percent from 2019 to 2020.

The second best performer in terms of increasing export sales was live animals, which increased by 10.3 percent.

Uruguay's pharmaceutical shipments grew at the third fastest rate, increasing by 6.2 percent year on year.

Oilseeds were the leading decliner among Uruguay's top ten export categories, falling by minus 23.1 percent.

In terms of macroeconomics, Uruguay's total exported goods account for 8.4 percent of its overall GDP in 2019 valued at 83.2 billion dollars in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars. 

In 2020, exports will account for 8.4 percent of total GDP in PPP terms, down from 9.4 percent the previous year. 

Those percentages indicate a decreasing reliance on products sold in international markets for Uruguay's total economic performance, albeit over a short timeframe.

The unemployment rate is another important indicator of a country's economic performance. 

According to the International Monetary Fund, Uruguay's average unemployment rate for 2020 was 10.35 percent, up from 8.925 percent in 2019.

Montevideo, Uruguay is Uruguay's capital city.


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