Guatemala flag Guatemala: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Guatemala

Foreign Trade in Figures

Regional integration is a priority of Guatemalan foreign policy, and trade represents 41.8% of GDP. However, poverty, violence, and political uncertainty remain the greatest obstacles to increased trade. Guatemala is the 92nd largest exporter and the 75th largest importer in the world. The country mainly exports nutmeg (9.7%), bananas (8.2%), coffee (5.6%), cane or beet sugar (5%), and palm oil (4.1%); while imports include petroleum oils (9%), motor vehicles (5.3%), electrical apparatus for radio-telephony (3.9%),  andmedicaments (3.1%).

Guatemala's main trade partners are the United States, El Salvador, China, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Guatemala is one of five countries in the Central American Common Market (CACM) along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The country is also a member of Central American Integration System (SICA). The European Union supports this integration process, which was one of the conditions of an agreement between the two regions. Guatemala is, after Nicaragua, the second largest recipient of European cooperation aid in Central America and benefits from the Generalised Scheme of Preferences.

In 2020, exports of goods reached USD 11.5 billion, while imports stood at USD 18.2 billion. As for services, Guatemala imported USD 2.7 billion, while exported USD 2.5 billion. Although overall imports registered a 4.6% decline from the previous year, exports also fell by 4.4% compared to the previous year. As a result, Guatemala had trade deficit of USD 5.9 billion concerning the trade of goods, which is slightly lower than the overall trade deficit including services, which amounted to USD 6.1 billion.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 16,99718,38819,69919,88218,205
Exports of Goods (million USD) 10,46510,99010,76911,17511,521
Imports of Services (million USD) 2,9963,2043,4703,5512,752
Exports of Services (million USD) 2,6942,7723,6053,6012,527

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 46.446.147.145.641.8
Trade Balance (million USD) -6,077-6,791-7,985-7,967-5,927
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -5,855-6,500-7,819-7,918-6,177
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 0.92.83.94.9-4.6
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2.41.5-0.30.1-4.4
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 27.627.628.927.924.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 18.818.518.217.616.9

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) 6.04.62.82.12.1
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 9.55.03.83.63.5

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Guatemala is part of the FTAA: Free Trade Area of the Americas, as well as the Central-American Common Market 
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
United States 32.3%
El Salvador 11.3%
Honduras 8.7%
Nicaragua 5.7%
Mexico 4.0%
See More Countries 38.1%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
United States 34.6%
China 12.4%
Mexico 11.7%
El Salvador 5.4%
Costa Rica 3.8%
See More Countries 32.2%

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

 
 

Main Products

11.7 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Nutmeg, mace and cardamomsNutmeg, mace and cardamoms 9.7%
Bananas, incl. plantains, fresh or driedBananas, incl. plantains, fresh or dried 8.2%
Coffee, whether or not roasted or decaffeinated;...Coffee, whether or not roasted or decaffeinated; coffee husks and skins; coffee substitutes containing coffee in any proportion 5.6%
Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in...Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form 5.0%
Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined...Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 4.0%
See More Products 67.5%
18.2 bn USD of products imported in 2020
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 9.0%
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 3.9%
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) 3.1%
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) 2.3%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl....Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 2.0%
See More Products 79.8%

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

 
 

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Latest Update: July 2022

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