Overview: In 2019 Nicaragua was the number 134 economy in the world in terms of GDP (current US$), the number 112 in total exports, the number 123 in total imports, the number 144 economy in terms of GDP per capita (current US$) and the number 119 most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI).

Exports: The top exports of Nicaragua are Knit T-shirts ($697M), Gold ($621M), Insulated Wire ($513M), Coffee ($472M), and Frozen Bovine Meat ($293M), exporting mostly to United States ($3.37B), El Salvador ($300M), Mexico ($296M), Honduras ($246M), and Costa Rica ($160M).

Imports: The top imports of Nicaragua are Refined Petroleum ($506M), Light Rubberized Knitted Fabric ($387M), Crude Petroleum ($254M), Packaged Medicaments ($214M), and Insulated Wire ($208M), importing mostly from United States ($1.74B), Mexico ($771M), China ($689M), Guatemala ($552M), and Costa Rica ($453M).

Location: Nicaragua borders Costa Rica and Honduras by land and Colombia and El Salvador by sea.

Historical Data

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Yearly Exports

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Value
Depth

Top Export (2019): Knit T-shirts, $697M

Top Destination (2019): United States, $3.37B

In 2019, Nicaragua exported a total of $5.57B, making it the number 112 exporter in the world. During the last five reported years the exports of Nicaragua have changed by $435M from $5.13B in 2014 to $5.57B in 2019.

The most recent exports are led by Knit T-shirts ($697M), Gold ($621M), Insulated Wire ($513M), Coffee ($472M), and Frozen Bovine Meat ($293M). The most common destination for the exports of Nicaragua are United States ($3.37B), El Salvador ($300M), Mexico ($296M), Honduras ($246M), and Costa Rica ($160M).

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Yearly Imports

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Value
Depth

Top Import (2019): Refined Petroleum, $506M

Top Origin (2019): United States, $1.74B

In 2019 Nicaragua imported $6.42B, making it the number 123 trade destination in the world. During the last five reported years the imports of Nicaragua changed by -$106M from $6.53B in 2014 to $6.42B in 2019.

The most recent imports of Nicaragua are led by Refined Petroleum ($506M), Light Rubberized Knitted Fabric ($387M), Crude Petroleum ($254M), Packaged Medicaments ($214M), and Insulated Wire ($208M). The most common import partners for Nicaragua are United States ($1.74B), Mexico ($771M), China ($689M), Guatemala ($552M), and Costa Rica ($453M).

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Flow

Fastest Growing Export Markets (2018 - 2019)

Fastest Growing Import Markets (2018 - 2019)

Nicaragua Exports Services (2015): $335M

Nicaragua Imports Services (2015): $755M

In 2015, Nicaragua exported $335M worth of services. The top services exported by Nicaragua in 2015 were Communications services ($161M), Government services, n.i.e. ($95.2M), Sea transport ($23.4M), Other transport ($17.6M), and Business travel ($13.2M).

The top services imported by Nicaragua in 2015 were Sea transport ($202M), Other transport ($140M), Miscellaneous business, professional, and technical services ($136M), Air transport ($135M), and Reinsurance ($52.5M).

Tariffs by Product

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The top product import tariffs by their MFN Ad Valorem value for Nicaragua are Rice in the husk (paddy or rough) (72%) and Rice, broken (72%).

Click any of the products in the bar chart to see the specific Ad Valorem Duty Rates by partner country.

*The tariffs applied to imports for Nicaragua are:
136: Most Favoured Nation duty rate treatement
139: Non-MFN duty rate for countries excluded from Most-Favoured- Nation (MFN) treatement
181: Preferential tariff for Central American Common Market CACM (Spanish: Mercado Común Centroamericano MCCA) Central American Integration System SICA
182: Preferential tariff for Chile
188: Preferential tariff for Chinese Taipei
195: Preferential tariff for Cuba
198: Preferential tariff for Dominican Republic
205: Preferential tariff for Ecuador
218: Preferential tariff for European Union countries
270: Preferential tariff for Mexico
285: Preferential tariff for Panama
328: Preferential tariff for United States
386: United States - Dominican Republic - Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA; incl. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic; 2005)
999: Not Specified

Economic Complexity

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Most Specialized Products by RCA Index

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Nicaragua has a high level of specialization in Non-Knit Men's Undergarments (114), Knit Women's Shirts (114), Ground Nuts (98.9), Molasses (55.4), and Coffee (51.3). Specialization is measured using RCA, an index that takes the ratio between Nicaragua observed and expected exports in each product.

Most Complex Products by PCI

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The highest complexity exports of Nicaragua according to the product complexity index (PCI) are Ink (0.51), Articles of cement, concrete or artificial stone (0.38), Birds eggs, other than in shell, egg yolks (0.3), Wooden cases, boxes, crates, drums, pallets, etc (0.25), and Saddlery and harness, of any material (0.2). PCI measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters.

Export Opportunities by Relatedness

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The top export opportunities for Nicaragua according to the relatedness index, are Tropical Fruits (0.18), Coconuts, Brazil Nuts, and Cashews (0.17), Perfume Plants (0.17), Locust beans, seaweed, sugar beet, cane, for food (0.17), and Melons (0.16). Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product. The barchart show only products that Nicaragua is not specialized in.

The product space is a network connecting products that are likely to be co-exported. The product space can be used to predict future exports, since countries are more likely to start exporting products that are related to current exports. Relatedness measures the distance between a product, and all of the products it is currently specialized in.

Relatedness Space

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This network shows the products most related to the production structure of Nicaragua. These are products that tend to be co-exported with the products that Nicaragua exports. Higher relatedness values ​​indicate greater knowledge, which predicts a greater probability of exporting that product in the future.

Diversification Frontier

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Depth

The Complexity-Relatedness diagram compares the risk and the strategic value of a country's potential export oppotunities. Relatedness is a predictive of the probability that a country increases its exports in a product. Complexity, is associated with higher levels of income, economic growth, less income inequality, and lower emissions.

Economic Complexity Ranking

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Scale

During the last 15 years Nicaragua's⁩ ⁨economy has become relatively less complex, moving from the ⁩⁨100th to the 119th⁩ position in the ECI rank.

These economic complexity rankings use 6 digit exports classified according to the HS96 classification. We consider only countries with population of at least 1 million and exports of at least $1 billion, and products with world trade over $500 million. To explore different rankings and vary these parameters visit the custom rankings section.

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