Guatemala's Top Exports And Trading Partners

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In 2017, Guatemala exported 11 billion dollars worth of goods around the world. 

This sum represents about 0.1 percent of world exports, which are estimated to be worth 15.952 trillion dollars.

In terms of value, 41 percent of Guatemalan exports were supplied to North American countries, while 38 percent were sold to Latin American importers, omitting those in Mexico but including those in the Caribbean. 

Another 9.8 percent of Guatemala’s exports are sent to European customers, with the remaining 8.4 percent going to Asia.

African importers bought a far lesser percentage of Guatemalan goods, at 2.3 percent.

Guatemala’s Top Trading Partners

The following is a list of Guatemala’s top 15 trading partners. 

That is, in terms of dollar value, these are the nations that imported the most Guatemalan shipments in 2017. 

The percentage of total Guatemalan exports for each import nation is also indicated.

The United States with 3.8 billion dollars accounts for 34.4 percent of total Guatemalan exports

El Salvador with 1.2 billion is responsible for 11 percent 

Honduras with 967.3 million dollars accounts for 8.8 percent

Nicaragua with 562.2 million dollars accounts for 5.1 percent

511 million in Mexico accounts for 4.6 percent

Costa Rica with 23.4 million dollars accounts for 3.8 percent

355.2 million dollars in the Netherlands stands at 3.2 percent 

288.8 million dollars from Panama stands at 2.6 percent 

222.2 million dollars from Canada account for 2 percent 

161.3 million dollars from Italy accounts for 1.5 percent

153.7 million dollars via Japan accounts for 1.4 percent 

144.9 million dollars from the Dominican Republic accounts for 1.3 percent 

141.3 million dollars in exports from Germany accounts for 1.3 percent

110.7 million from Saudi Arabia accounts for 1 percent 

The United Kingdom with 101 million dollars accounts for 0.9 percent 

Over four-fifths or 83 percent of Guatemala’s exports were supplied to the listed trading partners in 2017.

Saudi Arabia went up by 50.6 percent, Italy was up by 20 percent, Panama up by 16 percent, the Netherlands came up by 14.5 percent, and Mexico which went up by 14.5 percent are the top importers for Guatemalan exporters from 2016 to 2017. 

Canada declined by minus 36.1 percent, Japan went down by minus 9.2 percent, and the United Kingdom which went down by minus 9.2 percent was the top decliner.

Guatemala’s Top Exports

The Republic of Guatemala, a Central American country bordered to the north by Mexico, to the northeast by Belize, to the east by Honduras, and to the southeast by El Salvador, exported 11.7 billion dollars worth of commodities in 2020.

This figure represents an increase of 11.4 percent from 2016 and a 4.3 percent increase from 2019 to 2020.

Spices such as nutmeg and cardamon, bananas such as plantains, coffee, sugar, and palm oil are Guatemala’s top five exports. 

Those key product groups account for over a third or 32.5 percent of Guatemala’s total exported commodities in terms of value.

According to the most recent available country-specific data, importers in the United States account for 32.3 percent of the global total, El Salvador for 11.3 percent, Honduras for 8.7 percent, Nicaragua for 5.7 percent, Mexico for 4 percent, Costa Rica with 3.8 percent, the Netherlands with 3 percent, Saudi Arabia with 2.7 percent, the United Arab Emirates with 2 percent, China also with 2 percent, Panama with 1.8 percent, and Canada with 1.8 percent purchased 79.1 percent of Guatemala’s exports.

In terms of value, 38 percent of Guatemala’s exports were supplied to North American countries, while 37.1 percent were sold to Latin American importers, excluding Mexico and the Caribbean. 

Another 12.9 percent of Guatemala’s exports went to Asia, with another 9.7 percent going to Europe.

Africa got 2 percent and Oceania with 0.3 percent received smaller percentages, with New Zealand and Australia leading the way.

Guatemala became the most populous country in Central America in 2020, with an estimated population of 18 million people. The country’s 11.7 billion dollars in export commodities equates to nearly 650 dollars per citizen.

In Guatemalan global shipments in 2020, the following export product groups have the biggest dollar value. 

The percentage share of each export category in terms of total Guatemalan exports is also indicated.

1.8 billion dollars in coffee, tea, and spices account for 15.4 percent of total exports

1.3 billion dollars in fruits and nuts account for 11.2 percent 

Knitted and crocheted garments and accessories are worth 1.1 billion dollars accounting for 9.1 percent

712.6 million dollars in sugar and sugar confectionery stands at 6.1 percent 

Fats, oils, and waxes from animals and plants: 578.6 million dollars account for 5 percent

457.7 million dollars in iron and steel stands at 3.9 percent 

372.2 million dollars in vegetables account for 3.2 percent 

367.2 million dollars in plastics and plastic goods account for 3.1 percent 

335.2 million dollars in paper and paper products account for 2.9 percent

286.5 million dollars in beverages, spirits, and vinegar stands at 2.5 percent 

Guatemala’s top ten exports accounted for 62.4 percent of the country’s total export value.

Coffee, tea, and spices were the fastest-growing export category among the top ten, increasing by 36.3 percent from 2019 to 2020.

Animal or vegetable fats, oils, and waxes came in second with a 17.8 percent increase in export sales.

Guatemala’s iron or steel shipments increased by 16.7 percent, the third-fastest increase in value.

Beverages, spirits, and vinegar were the highest decliner among Guatemala’s top 10 export categories, with a minus 13.2 percent reduction year over year. 

Liquor, malt beer, and waters were all notable decliners.

Guatemala’s total exported goods account for 7.8 percent of the country’s overall Gross Domestic Product which is 149 billion in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars in 2020. 

In PPP terms, exports will account for 7.8 percent of the overall GDP in 2020, compared to 7.3 percent in 2019. 

Those percentages imply that Guatemala’s entire economic performance is becoming increasingly 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 Trading Economics, Guatemala’s projected unemployment rate was 5 percent in July 2021, up from 2 percent in September 2019.

Guatemala City is the country’s capital.


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