About

Overview In 2021, El Salvador was the number 101 economy in the world in terms of GDP (current US$), the number 111 in total exports, the number 95 in total imports, the number 126 economy in terms of GDP per capita (current US$) and the number 66 most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI) .

Exports The top exports of El Salvador are Knit T-shirts ($752M), Knit Sweaters ($436M), Electrical Capacitors ($311M), Plastic Lids ($269M), and Raw Sugar ($236M), exporting mostly to United States ($2.67B), Guatemala ($1.16B), Honduras ($1.09B), Nicaragua ($492M), and Costa Rica ($280M).

Imports The top imports of El Salvador are Refined Petroleum ($1.27B), Petroleum Gas ($400M), Broadcasting Equipment ($397M), Computers ($328M), and Cars ($285M), importing mostly from United States ($3.98B), China ($2.34B), Guatemala ($1.73B), Mexico ($1.1B), and Honduras ($670M).

Location El Salvador borders Guatemala by land and Honduras and Nicaragua by sea.

Latest Trends

Latest Trade

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Y-AXIS SCALE

The following section uses the most recent trade data from partners of El Salvador.

Disclaimer: data is presented based on availability and only countries that use the harmonized system are being shown.

*All data is converted to USD using January 2020 exchange rates when data is reported in local currency.

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Latest Data

Flow
Color
Depth

The data obtained is mirror data. The trade of countries that do not report current data can be reconstructed based on data reported by partner countries with current data available.

*All data is converted to USD using January 2020 exchange rates when data is reported in local currency.

Subscribe today to OEC pro and access the latest data

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Historical Data

Yearly Trade

Flow
Color
Depth
Top Export (2021)Knit T-shirts$752M
Top Destination (2021)United States$2.67B

In 2021, El Salvador exported a total of $6.86B, making it the number 111 exporter in the world. During the last five reported years the exports of El Salvador have changed by $1.03B from $5.83B in 2016 to $6.86B in 2021.

The most recent exports are led by Knit T-shirts ($752M), Knit Sweaters ($436M), Electrical Capacitors ($311M), Plastic Lids ($269M), and Raw Sugar ($236M). The most common destination for the exports of El Salvador are United States ($2.67B), Guatemala ($1.16B), Honduras ($1.09B), Nicaragua ($492M), and Costa Rica ($280M).

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Exports (2021)
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Destinations (2021)
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Market Growth

Flow
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Fastest Growing Export Markets (2020 - 2021)
United States$665M (+ 33.2%)
Honduras$311M (+ 40.1%)
Guatemala$292M (+ 33.7%)
Fastest Growing Import Markets (2020 - 2021)
United States$1.36B (+ 52.1%)
China$938M (+ 66.8%)
Guatemala$417M (+ 31.7%)

Total Export Growth by Market (2020 - 2021)

Service Trade

Service Trade

El Salvador Exports Services (2020)$1.45B
El Salvador Imports Services (2020)$1.15B

In 2020, El Salvador exported $1.45B worth of services. The top services exported by El Salvador in 2020 were Personal travel ($623M), Telecommunications services ($162M), Air transport ($129M), Miscellaneous business, professional, and technical services ($124M), and Government services, n.i.e. ($104M).

The top services imported by El Salvador in 2020 were Sea transport ($378M), Personal travel ($147M), Reinsurance ($142M), Other transport ($112M), and Royalties and license fees ($97.7M).

Service Exports (2020)

Service Imports (2020)

Economic Complexity

Most Specialized Products by RCA Index

El Salvador has a high level of specialization in Molasses (105), Cereal Flours (92.3), Asbestos Cement Articles (74.1), Knit Men's Undergarments (57.5), and Non-Retail Mixed Cotton Yarn (55.2). Specialization is measured using RCA, an index that takes the ratio between El Salvador observed and expected exports in each product.

Most Complex Products by PCI

The highest complexity exports of El Salvador according to the product complexity index (PCI) are Alloy steel flat-rolled products, of a width 600mm or more (1.36), Electrical capacitors; fixed, variable or adjustable (pre-set) (1.22), Typewriter, similar ribbons, inked, otherwise prepared for giving impressions, whether or not... (1.04), Textile products and articles for technical uses; specified in note 7 to... (1.04), and Alloy steel flat-rolled products, of a width of less than 600mm (0.99). PCI measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters.

Export Opportunities by Relatedness

The top export opportunities for El Salvador according to the relatedness index, were Cassava (0.28), Non-Knit Men's Suits (0.28), Bananas (0.27), Pepper (0.26), and Tropical Fruits (0.26). Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product. The barchart show only products that El Salvador is not specialized in.

Product Space

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 a country currently specializes in.

Relatedness Space

This network shows the products most related to the production structure of El Salvador. These are products that tend to be co-exported with the products that El Salvador 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 vs strategic value of a country's potential export oppotunities. Relatedness is 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 greenhouse emissions.

Economic Complexity Ranking

Methodology
Scale

During the last 20 years El Salvador's⁩ ⁨economy has become relatively less complex, moving from the ⁩⁨64th to the 66th⁩ 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.

Explore Rankings

ECI (Trade) Ranking by Country

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