Colombia Trade Revealed: Top 5 Exports & Imports [Coffee Ranks BIG]

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colombia map
Source: WikiMedia Commons

Economy of Colombia -Overview

Colombia is ranked as the 45th largest export economy in the world and has annual exports of $30.2 billion and imports of $42.9 billion, meaning it has a negative trade balance of $12.6 billion.

The value of its exports has fallen sharply over the last years at an annualized rate of -13.5%, from $61.1 billion to $30.2 billion during that time.

The GDP of Colombia is $282 billion and its GDP per capita is $14,200.

Colombia has received over $150 billion in total foreign direct investment during the last fifteen years and the general consensus among analysts would appear to be that, with armed conflicts within the country being gradually replaced by a stable political process, economic conditions could become more favorable in the future.

Colombia’s Top 5 Commodity Exports

CommodityAmount (Annually)
Crude Petroleum $7.87 billion
Coal Briquettes $4.39 billion
Coffee $2.45 billion
Refined Petroleum $1.96 billion
Gold $1.18 billion

Colombia’s Other Notable Exports

  1. Cut Flowers – $1.31 billion
  2. Bananas – $915 million
  3. Pesticides – $424 million
  4. Packaged Medicaments – $383 million
  5. Cars – $364 million

The top export destinations of Colombia are the United States ($10.2 billion), Panama ($1.91 billion), the Netherlands ($1.21 billion), Ecuador ($1.2 billion) and Spain ($1.16 billion).

Colombia’s Top 5 Commodity Imports

CommodityAmount (Annually)
Refined Petroleum $3.51 billion
Corn $871 million
Wheat$460 million
Soybean Meal $477 million
Soybeans $214 millon

Colombia’s Other Notable Imports

  1. Cars – $1.84 billion
  2. Packaged Medicaments – $1.33 billion
  3. Broadcasting Equipment – $1.23 billion
  4. Telephones – $551 million
  5. Vehicle Parts – $456 million

More Information on Colombia’s Imports/Exports

Crude Petroleum

Shipments of crude petroleum account for 26% of Colombia’s total exports, making it the biggest export of the country.

Worldwide exports of crude petroleum are worth $275 billion each year and Colombia has a 2.9% share of that market. The country ranks as the 11th largest exporter, and the second largest exporting country in South America, behind Brazil (3.6%).

Coal Briquettes

Exports of coal briquettes represent 15% of Colombia’s annual export total and the country is the fourth largest exporter of this commodity with a 6.5% share of a market that is worth $67.7 billion annually.

Colombia exports coal briquettes to many different countries and the three biggest importers of this product are the Netherlands (17%), the United States (12%) and Turkey (17%).


Coffee is an important commodity export of Colombia and annual shipments worth $2.45 billion contribute 8.1% of the country’s total exports of $30.2 billion.

Colombian coffee producers were forced to take action and change its production structure in response to problems with leaf rust attacks caused by climate change. These renovated plantations allowed coffee production to reach a record-breaking level of 14.6 million bags recently.

Refined Petroleum

Shipments of refined petroleum account for 6.5% of Colombia’s annual exports and with worldwide sales of $412 billion per year, the country has a 0.48% share of this global market with its shipments being worth $1.96 billion.

Colombia exports 47% of its refined petroleum shipments to the United States, and Bonaire (12%) is the second largest importer of this commodity from Colombia.


Global exports of gold are valued at $324.6 billion annually. Colombia does not feature among the top fifteen exporters, although its shipments worth $1.18 billion account for 3.9% of the country’s total exports.

The United States is the primary destination for Colombia’s gold exports, importing 69% of its annual shipments, followed by Switzerland on 28%.

A Few Interesting Facts About Colombia

  • Colombia’s famous drug baron, Pablo Escobar, once offered to pay the country’s national debt of $10 billion in an effort to enhance his reputation and avoid prosecution.
  • Colombia is ranked as the second most biodiverse country in the world and is one of only seventeen so-called “megadiverse” countries on the planet.
  • The city of Bogota has South America’s largest network of bicycle routes (300km).

All figures based on OEC/IMF 2016 calculations and projections unless otherwise stated.

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