Argentina flag Argentina: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Argentina

Foreign Trade in Figures

Argentina has been a relatively closed market to international trade, which accounted for 30.5% of its GDP in 2020 (World Bank). Nevertheless, the government has been trying to reduce protectionism and president Fernández is seeking a mature relationship with China and the US. The country's main exports include oil-cake and other solid residues (13.7%), maize (11%), soy-bean oil and soya beans (10.8%), meat (3.8%), and wheat and meslin (3.7%); while it imports soya beans (4.7%), auto parts and accessories (3.9%), motor cars and other motor vehicles (3.8%), electrical apparatus for line telephony (3.4%), and petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons (2.8%). According to IMF Foreign Trade Forecasts, the volume of exports of goods and services increased by 6.7% in 2021 and is expected to remain stable at 6.8% in 2022, while the volume of imports of goods and services increased by 23.2% in 2021 and is expected to decrease to 3% in 2022.

As part of the Mercosur, Brazil is Argentina’s main trade partner for both exports and imports, followed by China, the United States, Germany, Chile, Paraguay, Vietnam, and Germany. Even though Brazil has been Argentina's biggest partner for years, their relationship has been deteriorating since the election of Bolsonaro’s ideological opposite, Alberto Fernandez. Additionally, Mercosur is facing a fragile state, with a weak institutional structure and ideological differences between its members. With plans of changing its rules, Argentina could possibility delay opening up its economy to bilateral deals, while the rest of the members take the opposite path.

According to the last available data from WTO, Argentina exported USD 54.8 billion worth of goods in 2020, and imported USD 42.3 billion. As for services, the country imported USD 11.6 billion and exported USD 9.2 million. Overall, imports declined 18.1% compared to the previous year, while exports decreased 17.7%, resulting on an overall trade balance of USD 14.4 billion.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 55,60966,93065,48249,12442,354
Exports of Goods (million USD) 57,73758,62261,78165,11654,884
Imports of Services (million USD) 19,67924,66424,01419,15111,604
Exports of Services (million USD) 12,69714,52015,05713,9429,237

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 26.125.331.232.630.5
Trade Balance (million USD) 4,416-5,447-74318,22714,413
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -4,035-15,143-9,70913,01212,045
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 5.815.6-4.5-19.0-18.1
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 5.32.60.59.0-17.7
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 13.614.016.615.213.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 12.511.314.617.416.6

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 6.86.85.74.73.7
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 23.23.03.03.83.7

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Argentina is a member of the following international economic organisations: Latin American and the Caribbean Economic System, WTO, Mercosur, IMF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, ICC, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Argentina click here. International organisation membership of Argentina is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Argentina can be consulted here.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
Brazil 14.5%
China 9.6%
United States 6.0%
Chile 5.3%
Vietnam 5.2%
See More Countries 59.5%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
China 20.4%
Brazil 20.4%
United States 10.4%
Paraguay 5.2%
Germany 4.7%
See More Countries 38.8%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

54.9 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Oil-cake and other solid residues, whether or not...Oil-cake and other solid residues, whether or not ground or in the form of pellets, resulting from the extraction of soya-bean oil 13.7%
Maize or cornMaize or corn 11.0%
Soya-bean oil and its fractions, whether or not...Soya-bean oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 6.8%
Soya beans, whether or not brokenSoya beans, whether or not broken 4.0%
Meat of bovine animals, frozenMeat of bovine animals, frozen 3.8%
See More Products 60.8%
42.4 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Soya beans, whether or not brokenSoya beans, whether or not broken 4.7%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 3.9%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 3.8%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 3.4%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 2.8%
See More Products 81.4%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: June 2022

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