Honduras Top Exports 2021

Honduran flag
by Flagpictures.org

The Republic of Honduras shipped a total US$4.98 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2021. That dollar amount reflects a -5.9% decline from $5.3 billion five years earlier during 2017.

Year over year, the value of Honduran exports increased by an average 6.6% from $4.7 billion for 2020.

Previously called Spanish Honduras thus distinguishing the Central American republic from British Honduras (now Belize), Honduras shares its western border with Guatemala, southwest border with El Salvador and southeast border also with El Salvador. The republic’s south coastline is along the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca while the Honduran north coastline is surrounded by the Gulf of Honduras, a large Caribbean Sea inlet.

At the detailed 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, the top 5 exported products from Honduras were worth roughly three-fifths (60.6%) of the Central American country’s overall export sales. Those 5 most valuable Honduran exports are coffee, insulated wire or cable, crustaceans including lobsters, unwrought gold, and palm oil.

Honduras Major Trading Partners

The latest available country-specific data shows that 82.9% of products exported from the Honduras were bought by importers in: United States of America (43.3% of the global total), Germany (6.7%), El Salvador (5.9%), Guatemala (4.5%), Nicaragua (4.3%), Belgium (3.8%), Netherlands (3.4%), United Kingdom (2.7%), Mexico (2.6%), Costa Rica (2.4%), France (1.7%) and Taiwan (1.5%).

From a continental perspective, 47.2% of Honduras’ exports by value were delivered to North America while 24.2% were sold to importers in Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean. Honduras shipped another 23.3% worth of goods to Europe.

Smaller percentages went to Asia (4.2%), Oceania (0.6%) mostly Australia and New Zealand, then Africa (0.2%).

Given Honduras population of 6.5 million people, its total $4.98 billion in 2021 exports translates to roughly $760 for every resident in the Central American country.

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Honduran global shipments during 2021. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Honduras.

  1. Coffee, tea, spices: US$1.3 billion (26.2% of total exports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $885.5 million (17.8%)
  3. Fish: $601.2 million (12.1%)
  4. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $308.8 million (6.2%)
  5. Fruits, nuts: $278.5 million (5.6%)
  6. Gems, precious metals: $201.4 million (4%)
  7. Iron, steel: $148.8 million (3%)
  8. Vegetables: $134.4 million (2.7%)
  9. Articles of iron or steel: $103.2 million (2.1%)
  10. Ores, slag, ash: $94.4 million (1.9%)

Honduras’s top 10 exports accounted for 81.6% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Articles of iron or steel metals represent the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 129.2% from 2020 to 2021.

In second place for improving export sales was electrical machinery and equipment via a 52.4% advance.

Honduran shipments of coffee, tea and spices posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 47.8%.

The leading decliner among Honduras’ top 10 export categories was animal or vegetable fats, oils and waxes, thanks to a -28.6% year-over-year drop.

In 2021, Honduras’ most valuable exported products were coffee (26% of Honduras’ global total), insulated wire or cable (16.3%), crustaceans including lobsters (10.4%), unwrought gold (3.3%), palm oil (4.7%), bananas including plantains (2.8%), miscellaneous fresh or chilled vegetables (2%), melons including watermelons and papayas (1.8%), plated or coated flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (1.7%), then bread, biscuits, cakes and pastries (1.4%).

Products Generating Best Trade Surpluses for Honduras

The following types of Honduran product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Coffee, tea, spices: US$1.3 billion (Up by 47.8% since 2020)
  2. Fish: $586.4 million (Up by 47.6%)
  3. Gems, precious metals: $193.2 million (Up by 27.3%)
  4. Fruits, nuts: $189 million (Down by -36.7%)
  5. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $184.6 million (Down by -47.2%)
  6. Vegetables: $96.1 million (Up by 20%)
  7. Ores, slag, ash: $94.4 million (Up by 47.1%)
  8. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $47.5 million (Down by -71.4%)
  9. Electrical machinery, equipment: $26.6 million (Up by 82.4%)
  10. Live trees, plants, cut flowers: $14.3 million (Up by 3.3%)

The Honduras has highly positive net exports in the international trade of coffee, cardamoms, coffee husks, pepper and ginger. In turn, these cashflows indicate Honduras’ strong competitive advantages under the coffee, tea and spices product category.

Products Causing Largest Trade Deficits for Honduras

Honduras incurred a -$6.7 billion trade deficit for 2021, expanding 101.3% from -$3.3 billion in red ink one year earlier for 2020.

Below are exports from Honduras that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Honduras’ goods trail Honduran importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$1.7 billion (Up by 52.2% since 2020)
  2. Vehicles: -$909.5 million (Up by 116%)
  3. Machinery including computers: -$803.5 million (Up by 55%)
  4. Pharmaceuticals: -$673.6 million (Up by 33%)
  5. Iron, steel: -$575.5 million (Up by 143.7%)
  6. Plastics, plastic articles: -$528.9 million (Up by 134.6%)
  7. Cereals: -$374.6 million (Up by 30.8%)
  8. Miscellaneous food preparations: -$332.7 million (Up by 26.5%)
  9. Food industry waste, animal fodder: -$256.1 million (Up by 63.5%)
  10. Paper, paper items: -$210.6 million (Up by 31.3%)

Honduras has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits notably for refined petroleum oils under the mineral fuels-related product category.

These cashflow deficiencies also indicate Honduras’ competitive disadvantages in the processed fossil fuel market, but also represent key opportunities for Honduras to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations especially for alternative energy.

Honduran Export Companies

Not one Honduran corporation ranks among the companies showcased by the Forbes Global 2000.

Wikipedia does list companies from Honduras that engage in international business pursuits. Selected examples are shown below.

  • AeroCaribe de Honduras (airliner)
  • Aerolíneas Sosa (airliner)
  • InterAirports (international airports administrator)
  • New York and Honduras Rosario Mining Company (gold, silver)
  • Tegu (toys)

 

In macroeconomic terms, Honduras’ total exported goods represent 7.9% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2021 ($63.3 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 7.9% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2021 compares to an estimated 15.3% for 2020. Those percentages suggest a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Honduras’ total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe and estimated metrics.

Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Honduras’ unemployment rate averaged 10.303% in 2021, down from the average 11.973% jobless rate for 2020 according to statistics from the International Monetary Fund.

Tegucigalpa is the Honduran capital city.

See also Honduras Top 10 Imports, El Salvador’s Top 10 Exports, Coffee Exports by Country, Bananas Exports by Country and Palm Oil Exports by Country

Research Sources:
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on August 2, 2022

Forbes, 2017 Global 2000 rankingsThe World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 2, 2022

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity)

. Accessed on August 2, 2022

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 2, 2022

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 2, 2022

Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on August 2, 2022

Wikipedia, Honduras. Accessed on August 2, 2022

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Honduras. Accessed on August 2, 2022

Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on August 2, 2022

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