flag Ecuador Ecuador: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Ecuador is quite open to foreign trade, which accounts for 43% of its GDP. The country is the 71st largest exporter in the world and the 75th largest importer. Ecuador has been a member of the WTO since 1996, and is a member of the Andean Community and the Latin American Integration Association. The country mainly exports petroleum oils (26%), crustaceans (19%), bananas (18.2%), fish and caviar (5.8%), and flowers (4.1%). Its main imports include petroleum oils (8.3%), oils and other products of the distillation of high temperature coal tar (5.3%), medicaments (4.1%), electrical apparatus for line telephony (3.2%), and motor vehicles (3.1%). According to IMF Foreign Trade Forecasts, the volume of exports of goods and services decreased by an estimated 0.8% in 2021 and is expected to increase by 5.4% in 2022, while the volume of imports of goods and services increased by an estimated 13.5% in 2021 and is expected to increase by 5.3% in 2022.

Ecuador's main trade partners are the United States, China, Panama, Colombia, Russia, Chile, Brazil, and Peru. Additionally, the country has intensified its trade relations with Russia and Iran in recent years. In May 2017, Ecuador became the fifth country in the world to terminate all its bilateral investment treaties. According to the government, Ecuador chose to cancel all agreements because they failed to deliver promised investment, they have cost Ecuadorians billions of dollars and posed a serious threat to the country's capacity to regulate corporate activities. Nevertheless, the government argues that such decision should not discourage trade nor investment. Ecuador is a member of the Andean Community and has free trade agreements with the EU, the UK, Guatemala, Chile, Mexico, and Mercosur.

In 2020, imports of goods stood at USD 17,9 billion while exports totalled USD 20,2 billion. Concerning the trade of services, the imports amounted to USD 2,6 billion in 2020, while the exports were equal to USD 1,6 billion. As a result, Ecuador recorded a positive trade balance of USD 3,3 billion. The country's over-dependence on oil export revenues has been a persistent concern in Ecuador, as it causes the economy to be vulnerable to external shocks, so more volatile oil prices tend to significantly affect their trade balance.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 16,32420,01023,17722,56417,959
Exports of Goods (million USD) 16,79819,12221,62822,32920,227
Imports of Services (million USD) 3,2323,1983,8464,0592,685
Exports of Services (million USD) 2,1092,0683,1103,2071,649
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -101240-8
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1114-2
Trade Balance (million USD) 1,567281-2261,0253,331
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 3942464643
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 1922242321
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 2021232323

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2021
United States 24.0%
China 15.3%
Panama 14.9%
Chile 4.2%
Russia 3.7%
See More Countries 37.9%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2021
China 23.5%
United States 22.1%
Colombia 7.0%
Brazil 3.9%
South Korea 3.6%
See More Countries 40.0%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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Main Products

26.7 bn USD of products exported in 2021
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 27.3%
Crustaceans, whether in shell or not, live, fresh,...Crustaceans, whether in shell or not, live, fresh, chilled, frozen, dried, salted or in brine, even smoked, incl. crustaceans in shell cooked by steaming or by boiling in water; flours, meals and pellets of crustaceans, fit for human consumption 20.0%
Bananas, incl. plantains, fresh or driedBananas, incl. plantains, fresh or dried 13.1%
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 4.9%
Prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar...Prepared or preserved fish; caviar and caviar substitutes prepared from fish eggs 4.7%
See More Products 30.0%
25.7 bn USD of products imported in 2021
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 9.6%
Oils and other products of the distillation of...Oils and other products of the distillation of high temperature coal tar; similar products in which the weight of the aromatic constituents exceeds that of the non-aromatic constituents 6.2%
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) 3.4%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.3%
Oilcake and other solid residues, whether or not...Oilcake and other solid residues, whether or not ground or in the form of pellets, resulting from the extraction of soya-bean oil 2.8%
See More Products 74.6%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows

 
 

Main Services

1.8 bn USD of services exported in 2020
38.80%
36.55%
8.48%
6.49%
4.14%
3.54%
1.40%
0.37%
0.24%
2.8 bn USD of services imported in 2020
40.07%
14.65%
12.82%
9.66%
5.58%
5.40%
5.01%
3.80%
2.68%
0.32%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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Commercial Policy

International Economic Cooperation
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of Community of Andean Nations

Member of Organisation of American States

Member of Latin American and Caribbean Economic System

Associate Member of Mercosur

Assessment of Commercial Policy
Country’s commercial policy
Barriers to exchanges
Barriers to exchanges
Sanitary and phytosanitary barriers
Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
10.29%
 
 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
International Economic Cooperation
Member of Community of Andean Nations

Member of Organisation of American States

Member of Latin American and Caribbean Economic System

Associate Member of Mercosur

Useful Resources
Corporación Aduanera Ecuatoriana (only in Spanish)
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
The Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property.
 
 
 

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Latest Update: October 2022