Uruguay reached a record for sales of goods and services abroad of US$13,356 million in 2022, including free zones, which represents an increase of 16.5% compared to 2021.
These data were revealed by the Union of Exporters of Uruguay (UEU) with information collected by Customs and the Uruguay XXI Institute. Despite these positive numbers, in December export requests fell for the fourth consecutive month, showing a drop of 12% if sales from the free zones are considered.
The first semester was quite positive, with very good prices and quantities exported, but in the second semester demand from China, the main consumer of Uruguayan products, began to gradually drop. December saw the seventh consecutive monthly drop in shipments to China: the Asian giant is buying less meat, dairy and live cattle.
Again in December, Brazil was the country that led the ranking of export orders, reaching 37%, with dairy and milling products in the lead. For its part, India is growing as a purchasing country for Uruguayan products, so it may begin to rise in the buyer position table.
China and Brazil, the best clients
Last year, China continued to be Uruguay’s main trading partner: in that year we exported US$2,812 million, a number driven mainly by the sale of seeds and oilseeds such as soybeans. Other items rather closed down for several months.
Brazil, the South American giant of 214 million inhabitants, maintains its second place in the ranking: it bought a total of US$1,869 million after a year-on-year rise of 4.7%: it bought more vehicles and dairy products.
In third place is Argentina: the neighboring River Plate nation acquired a total of US$1.05 billion from Uruguay, with a year-on-year increase of 117.6% driven by sales of soybeans, electricity and vehicles.