Bolivia imported a projected over 7.1 billion dollars in commodities from throughout the world in 2021, a decrease of minus 17.3 percent from 2016 and a decrease of minus 27.6 percent from 2019 to 2020.
Using a continental lens, 43.9 percent of Bolivia’s total imports by value, excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, were purchased from fellow Latin American countries. Bolivia received 32.7 percent of its import sales from Asian trading partners, while 12.2 percent came from Europe.
Another 10.9 percent came from North American suppliers.
Shippers in Africa got 0.13 percent and Oceania received 0.08 percent, led by Australia and New Zealand, which account for smaller percentages.
With a population of 11.7 million people, Bolivia’s total imports of 7.1 billion dollars in 2020 equates to nearly 600 dollars in annual product demand for each individual in the South American country.
Bolivia’s Top Imports
At the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, these product groups constitute the biggest dollar value in Bolivia’s import purchases in 2021.
The percentage share of each product category in terms of total imports into Bolivia is also indicated.
Mineral fuels including oil: with 918 million dollars account for 13 percent of total imports
Machinery including computers accounts for 813.5 million dollars representing 11.5 percent
Vehicles account for 676.7 million dollars which represents 9.6 percent
Electrical machinery, equipment: with 535.9 million dollars account for 7.6 percent
Plastics, plastic articles: with 389.5 million dollars account for 5.5 percent
Iron, steel: 327.5 million dollars account for 4.6 percent
Other chemical goods account for 302.2 million dollars standing at 4.3 percent
Pharmaceuticals account for 238.7 million dollars which is equivalent to 3.4 percent
Articles of iron or steel: with 208.2 million dollars account for 2.9 percent
Optical, technical, and medical apparatus: with 196.7 million dollars account for 2.8 percent
Bolivia’s top ten imports amounted to nearly two-thirds of the total value of its goods purchases from other nations or 65.1 percent.
Pharmaceuticals came up by 6.9 percent, as well as optical, technological, and medical gear were two of the top import categories that saw gains of up to 4.2 percent.
Mineral fuels, including oil, led the dropping product categories with a minus 42.1 percent drop year over year, followed by machinery, including computers, with a minus 42.1 percent drop.
Bolivia’s Top Exports
Bolivia’s Plurinational State, which is located on South America’s mid-western coast, exported 7 billion dollars worth of goods throughout the world in 2021.
This figure represents a minus 1.6 percent loss since 2016 and a minus 21.4 percent drop between 2019 and 2021.
According to the most recent data available, importers in Brazil had 15.8 percent of the global total, Argentina with 14.7 percent, India with 10.2 percent, Japan 7.5 percent, Peru with 6.5 percent, Colombia with 5.9 percent china with 5.1 percent, the United States with 4.5 percent, the United Arab Emirates with 4 percent, the Netherlands with 3 percent, South Korea with 2 percent, and Ecuador purchased 82.4 percent of Bolivia’s exports.
Bolivia’s exports to Latin America, excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, accounted for 48.2 percent of the country’s total value, while 32.9 percent went to Asian buyers.
Bolivia sent another 10 percent of its exports to Europe.
North America got 6.8 percent, Oceania had 1.9 percent, and Africa with 1.9 percent received smaller percentages.
Bolivia’s overall 7 billion dollars in 2020 exports corresponds to nearly 600 dollars for each of the country’s 11.7 million residents.
The percentage share of each export category in terms of total Bolivian exports is also indicated.
2 billion dollars in mineral fuels, including oil accounts for 28.9 percent of total exports
1.5 billion dollars in gems and precious metals accounts for 21.1 percent
1.5 billion dollars in ores, slag, and ash stands at 21.1 percent
515.2 million dollars in food waste and animal fodder is equivalent to 7.3 percent
Fats, oils, and waxes from animals and plants: 333.7 million dollars account for 4.8 percent
Tin is worth 175.2 million dollars which represents 2.5 percent
164.6 million dollars in fruits and nuts stands at 2.3 percent
Cereals are worth 106 million dollars accounting for 1.5 percent
91.4 million dollars in oil seeds account for 1.3 percent
67.7 million dollars in beverages, spirits, and vinegar stands at 1 percent
Bolivia’s top ten exports accounted for 91.8 percent of the country’s total export value.
Oil seeds are the fastest-growing export category among the top ten, with a 40.5 percent increase from 2019 to 2021.
Animal or vegetable fats, oils, and waxes came in second with a 16 percent increase in export sales.
Bolivian shipments of food waste and animal fodder saw the third-fastest increase in value, rising 10 percent.
Tin was the highest decliner among Bolivia’s top 10 export categories, with a minus 38.6 percent year-over-year loss.
Petroleum gases are Bolivia’s most valuable export product contributing 26.8 percent of the total, followed by gold with 17.5 percent, zinc ores and concentrate with 11.6 percent, soya-bean oil cake plus other solid residues accounting for 7 percent, precious metal ores and concentrates with 6.9 percent, soya-bean oil with 3.7 percent, unprocessed tin accounts for 2.5, percent, jewelry accounts for 1.9 percent, Brazil nuts with 1.8 percent, silver with 1.7 percent, and lead ore with 1.7 percent.
Bolivia’s total exported goods account for 7.4 percent of the country’s overall Gross Domestic Product which is 94.4 billion dollars in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars in 2021.
In PPP terms, exports will account for 7.4 percent of the overall GDP in 2021, compared to 7.8 percent in 2020.
Although based on a short duration, these measurements show that Bolivia’s total economic performance is becoming less reliant on products sold on international markets. The unemployment rate is another important measure of a country’s economic performance.
According to the International Monetary Fund, Bolivia’s average unemployment rate for 2021 was 3.75 percent, up from 3.493 percent in 2020. There are two capital cities in Bolivia. La Paz serves as the de facto working capital, while Sucre serves as the legal capital.