Ecuador imported 17.8 billion dollars in commodities from throughout the world in 2020, an increase of 10 percent over 2016 but a minus 20.5 percent decrease from 2019 to 2020. The official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar.
Ecuador’s Major Trade Partners
According to the most recent country-specific data available, Ecuador imported 77.4 percent of its products from the following countries: the United States contributes 22.3 percent of the global total, China with 22.2 percent, Colombia with 8.3 percent, Brazil with 3.7 percent, Peru with 3.4 percent, Mexico with 3.3 percent, Germany with 2.7 percent, Spain also with 2.7 percent, Chile with 2.5 percent, South Korea with 2.2 percent, Japan with 2.1 percent, and Canada with 2.1 percent.
From a continental viewpoint, Asian countries accounted for approximately a third or 33.7 percent of Ecuador’s total imports by value in 2020.
North American imports accounted for another 27.7 percent of total imports.
Following closely behind were suppliers from Latin American countries with 24 percent, omitting Mexico but including the Caribbean, and finally European suppliers with 14.4 percent.
Africa with 0.15 percent and Oceania with 0.1 percent, led by Australia, had smaller percentages.
Given Ecuador’s population of 17.5 million people, the country’s total imports of 17.8 billion dollars in 2020 equates to nearly 1,000 dollars in annual product demand for each individual in the northwestern South American country.
Ecuador’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups account for the majority of Ecuador’s import imports in 2020.
The percentage share of each product category in terms of total imports into Ecuador is also indicated.
Mineral fuels including oil: 2.8 billion dollars account for 15.8 percent of total imports
Machinery including computers: 2.1 billion dollars accounts for 11.6 percent
Electrical machinery, and equipment: 1.5 billion dollars account for 8.5 percent
Vehicles: 1.3 billion dollars accounts for 7.3 percent
Pharmaceuticals: 1.1 billion dollars accounts for 5.9 percent
Plastics, plastic articles: 852.6 million accounts for 4.8 percent
Food industry waste, animal fodder: 793.3 million dollars accounts for 4.5 percent
Other chemical goods: 509.6 million dollars accounts for 2.9 percent
Iron, steel: 495.6 million dollars account for 2.8 percent
Optical, technical, and medical apparatus: 432.9 million accounts for 2.4 percent
Ecuador’s top ten imports accounted for nearly two-thirds of the total value of its goods acquisitions from other nations or 66.5 percent.
In terms of money spent on Ecuadorian import goods, pharmaceuticals climbed by 8.8 percent from 2019 to 2020.
Miscellaneous chemical goods were the only other top product category to increase by 2.8 percent.
Imported autos came down by minus 39.5 percent and mineral fuels, including oil, were the biggest losers year over year down by minus 35.7 percent.
Ecuador’s Top 10 Exports
Ecuador, which is located in northwestern South America, exported 20.2 billion dollars worth of commodities around the world in 2020.
This figure represents a 20.4 percent gain from 2016 to 2019, but a minus 9.4 percent reduction from 2019 to 2020.
Crude oil, crustaceans such as lobsters, bananas, and plantains, preserved or prepared fish and caviar, and fresh or dried flowers for bouquets or other ornamental purposes are Ecuador’s top five exports.
These five primary items account for 70.2 percent of Ecuador’s overall exports in terms of value.
Mineral fuels including oil: 5.3 billion dollars account for 26.2 percent of total exports
Fish: 4.2 billion dollars account for 20.6 percent
Fruits, nuts: 3.9 billion dollars account for 19.2 percent
Meat/seafood preparations: 1.2 billion dollars account for 5.9 percent
Cocoa: 935 million dollars account for 4.6 percent
Live trees, plants, cut flowers: 845.7 million dollars accounts for 4.2 percent
Wood: 822.2 million dollars account for 4.1 percent
Ores, slag, ash: 539.8 million dollars account for 2.7 percent
Gems, precious metals: 402 million dollars account for 2 percent
Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: 237.5 million dollars account for 1.2 percent
The top ten exports from Ecuador accounted for 90.7 percent of the total value of its global shipments.
The fastest-growing export category among the top ten was ore, slag, and ash, which increased by 309.7 percent from 2019 to 2020.
Gems and precious metals came in second with a 96.9 increase in export sales, owing to substantially larger income for the percent exported gold.
Ecuador’s wood shipments grew at the third-fastest rate, increasing by 77.3 percent.
Mineral fuels, including oil, were the largest decliner among Ecuador’s top 10 export categories, with a minus 39.4 percent yearly loss owing to lower sales of crude oil and, to a lesser extent, refined petroleum oils.
In 2022, crude oil will be Ecuador’s most valuable exported product at the four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, or 23.2 percent of its overall total.
Lobsters and other crustaceans came in second with 19 percent, followed by bananas and plantains with 18.2 percent, preserved or prepared fish and caviar with 5.8 percent, fresh or dried flowers with 4.1 percent, cocoa beans with 4 percent, refined petroleum oils with 2.8 percent, sawn wood with 2 percent, and gold with 2 percent.
Ecuador’s total exported goods account for 10.1 percent of the country’s overall Gross Domestic Product valued at 201.2 billion dollars in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars in 2020.
In PPP terms, exports will account for 10.1 percent of the overall GDP in 2020, compared to 11 percent in 2019.
Those percentages imply that Ecuador’s entire economic performance is becoming less reliant on products sold on international markets, albeit over a short period.
The unemployment rate is another important measure of a country’s economic performance.
According to the International Monetary Fund, Ecuador’s average unemployment rate for 2020 was 5.267 percent, up from 3.84 percent a year earlier.
Quito is the capital of Ecuador.