Venezuela flag Venezuela: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Venezuela

Foreign Trade in Figures

According to the latest available data, Venezuela’s foreign trade represented 67.2% of the GDP in 2017. The country’s economy is strongly depending on hydrocarbons, as well as on loans from China and Russia. Traditionally, petroleum represents more than 85% of Venezuela’s exports. Other exports include acyclic alcohols (2.2%), iron reductions (1%), gold (1.5%), crustaceans (0.9%), and hard liquor (0.4%). The country mainly imports refined petroleum (16.8%), rice (4.3%), corn (3.5%), wheat (2%), and medicaments (2%). According to IMF Foreign Trade Forecasts, the volume of exports of goods and services decreased by 50.1% in 2020 and fell by an estimated 20.8% in 2021, while the volume of imports of goods and services decreased by 19.5% in 2020 and declined by an estimated 5.3% in 2021. The unprecedented fall in volume of imports and exports in 2020  and 2021 was mainly due to lower global demand which resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Venezuela’s main trade partners are the United States, China, India, Mexico, Turkey, and Brazil. The United States remains the main petroleum customer. The country purchases petroleum at the market price and constitutes, consequently, Venezuela's first source of currency. Venezuela is a member of the Latin American Integration Association as well as the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries, and is looking to improve and increase its trade relations with the South-American zone, the EU and China. However, even though Venezuela entered Mercosur in 2012 in order to develop trade with its neighbours, its membership indefinitely suspended in 2017 because the country was infringing on the democratic clauses of the treaty.

According to the WTO, the country imported  USD 6.5 billion of goods in 2020 and exported USD 4.9 billion of goods over the same period, resulting on a trade balance of USD 1.6 billion. However, even though the amount of exports was significant in 2020, they have decreased by over 85% since 2018, notably due to the fall of petroleum prices and lower global demand brought on by the pandemic.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 13,55010,51011,7105,8706,590
Exports of Goods (million USD) 24,63032,54034,44017,2104,980
Imports of Services (million USD) 18,52906,88400
Exports of Services (million USD) n/a077200

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20122013201420152016
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 50.454.348.1n/an/a
Trade Balance (million USD) 31,95631,59827,4493,95611,061
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 14,68814,52912,551-8,2352,874
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 24.4-9.7-18.5n/an/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1.6-6.2-4.7n/an/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 24.229.531.4n/an/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 26.224.816.7n/an/a

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) -44.5-8.40.00.00.0
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -10.1-4.80.00.00.0

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Venezuela is part of the WTO, the World Bank, the CEPALC: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the ALADI: Latin American Integration Association, the MCCA (CACM): Central American Common Market. It has signed the Promotion and Protection of Investment Agreement of 1993, and is a partner of MERCOSUR. The country withdrew from the Andean Community, which brings together several countries of the Southern Cone, in 2006.
 
 
 
 
 

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

 

Main Services

0.8 bn USD of services exported in 2018
44.11%
31.58%
11.78%
7.14%
2.38%
1.50%
0.75%
0.50%
0.25%
7.3 bn USD of services imported in 2018
29.40%
25.35%
16.20%
13.77%
4.51%
2.73%
2.68%
2.50%
2.10%
0.75%

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: July 2022