Chile flag Chile: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Chile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Chile has a very open economy, highly dependent on international trade, which represents around 75% of its GDP (latest data available). In 2022, the country mainly exported copper (which accounted for 45% of exports), carbonates (mostly lithium, 8%), fish fillets and other fish meat (4%), chemical wood pulp (2.7%), and apricots, cherries, and peaches (2.5%). Imports involved petroleum oils (16.6%), motor cars and other vehicles (5%), motor vehicles for the transport of goods (3.5%), and petroleum gas (3.3% - data Comtrade). In the same year, the number of exporting companies increased to 7,781, representing a 7% increase compared to 2021. The manufacturing sector saw the highest number of new exporters in 2022 (+456), followed by services (+33), mining (+23), fishing and aquaculture (+9), and wines (+7).

Chile's 2022 top exporting partners were China (39.4%), the United States (13.9%), Japan (7.6%), South Korea (6.2%), and Brazil (4.6%); whereas imports came chiefly from China (25.3%), the United States (20.9%), Brazil (9.7%), Argentina (5.8%), and Germany (2.7% - data Comtrade). In 2022, the country's exports were directed to a total of 194 destinations, with increases in the value of shipments recorded in 126 of these. The largest increases in terms of exported value were seen in China (USD 4.437 billion), South Korea (USD 1.333 billion), Japan (USD 748 million), Mexico (USD 447 million), Belgium (USD 304 million), Peru (USD 299 million), Costa Rica (USD 286 million), Colombia (USD 271 million), and India (USD 190 million – data National Bank). Chile has signed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with several important economies, notably the European Union, the United States, China, and South Korea and is a member of the Pacific Alliance since 2012 with Mexico, Colombia and Peru. Its comparative economic advantages (revenue from mining, competitive and counter-seasonal agriculture sector) have given it access to the large markets of North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific (and recently to other South American countries, especially Brazil). Chile also signed a trade continuity agreement with the UK, ensuring continued trade relations.

Chile's trade balance has been fluctuating in recent years. According to WTO data, in 2022, Chile exported USD 98.5 million worth of goods, while its imports stood at USD 104.5 million. Exports and imports of services in the same year amounted to USD 8.5 million and USD 22.9 million, respectively. In the same year, the World Bank estimated the country’s trade balance to be negative by 3.7% of GDP (from -0.8% one year earlier). According to the latest figures from the National Bank, Chile's trade exchange recorded during January to August of 2023 reached a total amount of USD 117.517 billion (FOB), a figure that showed a negative variation of 8.5% compared to the same period in 2022. Total exports amounted to USD 66.8 billion (of which 58.7% was from the mining sector), against USD 68.2 billion in imports.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 69,85559,20792,397104,52985,506
Exports of Goods (million USD) 68,79474,02394,77598,54994,937
Imports of Services (million USD) 16,54713,02718,29123,35319,524
Exports of Services (million USD) 8,4625,5545,9738,5299,866

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 58.257.558.164.775.0
Trade Balance (million USD) 4,4093,01618,91710,4703,807
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -2,933-5,06911,444-1,848-11,017
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 8.6-1.7-12.331.80.9
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 4.9-2.5-0.9-1.41.4
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 29.629.726.832.739.3
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 28.527.831.332.035.7

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 0.16.25.02.82.4
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -11.74.14.53.02.6

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Chile is a member of the following international economic organisations: Latin American Integration Association (ALADI), IMF, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), G-15, G-77, ICC, Latin American and the Caribbean Economic System, OECD, Mercosur (associate), among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Chile click here. International organisation membership of Chile is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Chile can be consulted here.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
China 39.5%
United States 13.8%
Japan 7.6%
South Korea 6.5%
Brazil 4.6%
See More Countries 28.1%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
China 25.2%
United States 20.9%
Brazil 9.9%
Argentina 5.7%
Germany 2.7%
See More Countries 35.6%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

98.6 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Copper ores and concentratesCopper ores and concentrates 23.1%
Copper, refined, and copper alloys, unwrought ...Copper, refined, and copper alloys, unwrought (excl. copper alloys of heading 7405) 18.6%
Carbonates; peroxocarbonates "percarbonates";...Carbonates; peroxocarbonates "percarbonates"; commercial ammonium carbonate containing ammonium carbamate 8.4%
Fish fillets and other fish meat, whether or not...Fish fillets and other fish meat, whether or not minced, fresh, chilled or frozen 4.0%
Chemical wood pulp, soda or sulphate (excl....Chemical wood pulp, soda or sulphate (excl. dissolving grades) 3.0%
See More Products 42.9%
104.6 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 12.0%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 4.9%
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) 4.9%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl....Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 3.5%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 3.2%
See More Products 71.5%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. 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, 2024. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: June 2024

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