Trade structure by product

Main export products, 2019

Note: Top 10 exporting economies are shown in the default selection.

Find the data on UNCTADstat

Regional specialization patterns

The supply of goods to the world market has a regional pattern. According to 2019 figures, economies in Northern and Central America, Europe and Southern, Eastern and South-Eastern Asia export mainly manufactured goods. The main fuel exporters are located along the northern coast of South America, in Middle and Northern Africa and Western and Central Asia. Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal as well as several countries in Eastern Africa and eastern South America specialize in food.

In Africa, primary goods accounted for 77 per cent of merchandise exports in 2019; of which fuels made up 42 per cent. Developing Asia and Oceania relied much less on primary goods in their exports (23 per cent). Developing America recorded the largest proportion of food exports (23 per cent) among the three developing regions.

Figure 1Export structure of developing economies by product group, 2019 (Percentage)
AfricaAmericaAsia and Oceania

Note: Non-allocated products are not considered.

Decline in trade across a whole range of products

The contraction of world merchandise trade in 2019 (see on the Total merchandise trade page) was strongly driven by fuels, the exports of which fell by 9 per cent. Exports of agricultural raw materials decreased by 7 per cent; exports of manufactured goods and of ores, metals, precious stones and non-monetary gold by less than 2 per cent. Trade in food remained almost unchanged.

Figure 2Annual growth rate of exports by product group, 2019(Percentage)

What do developing regions trade with others?

Developing regions show considerable differences in their respective trade with the rest of the world. In 2019, only developing economies in Asia and Oceania recorded a surplus in merchandise trade, amounting to 8 per cent of extra-regional exports. This was driven by high exports of manufactured goods and was partially offset by a deficit in other commodity groups. In Africa, the trade structure was entirely different, with imports of manufactured goods three times higher than exports. Although counterbalanced by surpluses in ores, metals, precious stones, monetary gold and in fuels, there remained an overall deficit of 17 per cent. Developing America had a much smaller trade deficit than Africa (1 per cent) and recorded relatively high net-exports of food.

Figure 3Developing economies’ extra-trade structure, 2019 (Percentage of exports)

Note: Non-allocated products are not considered.

Summary tables

Table 1

Exports by product group, origin and destination, 2019

(Millions of United States dollars)

All food items

Origin

Destination

World

Developing economies

Transition economies

Developed
economies

Total

Africa

America

Asia and Oceania

World

1 559 429

629 900

80 259

83 145

466 496

54 323

872 922

(100)

(40)

(5)

(5)

(30)

(3)

(56)

Developing economies

629 126

377 392

47 074

37 450

292 868

16 206

234 948

(100)

(60)

(7)

(6)

(47)

(3)

(37)

Developing economies: Africa

61 427

32 543

14 773

482

17 288

1 667

27 032

(100)

(53)

(24)

(1)

(28)

(3)

(44)

Developing economies: America

228 348

120 123

10 349

31 475

78 298

4 937

102 995

(100)

(53)

(5)

(14)

(34)

(2)

(45)

Developing economies: Asia and Oceania

339 351

224 726

21 951

5 493

197 282

9 602

104 921

(100)

(66)

(6)

(2)

(58)

(3)

(31)

Transition economies

63 485

28 716

6 141

303

22 271

20 097

14 598

(100)

(45)

(10)

(0)

(35)

(32)

(23)

Developed economies

866 817

223 792

27 045

45 391

151 356

18 020

623 376

(100)

(26)

(3)

(5)

(17)

(2)

(72)

Note: Percentage of exports to the whole world in parentheses.

Agricultural raw materials

Origin

Destination

World

Developing economies

Transition economies

Developed
economies

Total

Africa

America

Asia and Oceania

World

254 599

127 642

7 044

9 450

111 149

4 995

121 291

(100)

(50)

(3)

(4)

(44)

(2)

(48)

Developing economies

97 818

64 756

2 766

3 311

58 679

1 000

31 897

(100)

(66)

(3)

(3)

(60)

(1)

(33)

Developing economies: Africa

12 798

8 887

1 124

70

7 693

91

3 814

(100)

(69)

(9)

(1)

(60)

(1)

(30)

Developing economies: America

24 484

13 647

185

1 677

11 786

268

10 410

(100)

(56)

(1)

(7)

(48)

(1)

(43)

Developing economies: Asia and Oceania

60 537

42 222

1 457

1 565

39 201

641

17 672

(100)

(70)

(2)

(3)

(65)

(1)

(29)

Transition economies

13 319

7 254

215

160

6 879

1 488

4 574

(100)

(54)

(2)

(1)

(52)

(11)

(34)

Developed economies

143 462

55 631

4 062

5 978

45 591

2 507

84 820

(100)

(39)

(3)

(4)

(32)

(2)

(59)

Note: Percentage of exports to the whole world in parentheses.

Fuels

Origin

Destination

World

Developing economies

Transition economies

Developed
economies

Total

Africa

America

Asia and Oceania

World

2 247 442

1 136 084

85 940

129 315

920 829

32 022

1 027 510

(100)

(51)

(4)

(6)

(41)

(1)

(46)

Developing economies

1 201 088

811 308

55 315

37 896

718 097

2 255

366 962

(100)

(68)

(5)

(3)

(60)

(0)

(31)

Developing economies: Africa

199 505

104 361

17 768

5 044

81 549

90

93 946

(100)

(52)

(9)

(3)

(41)

(0)

(47)

Developing economies: America

116 607

66 674

676

25 039

40 960

32

33 168

(100)

(57)

(1)

(21)

(35)

(0)

(28)

Developing economies: Asia and Oceania

884 976

640 273

36 871

7 814

595 588

2 133

239 848

(100)

(72)

(4)

(1)

(67)

(0)

(27)

Transition economies

299 460

98 373

2 843

1 633

93 897

21 354

179 650

(100)

(33)

(1)

(1)

(31)

(7)

(60)

Developed economies

746 895

226 403

27 782

89 786

108 835

8 413

480 898

(100)

(30)

(4)

(12)

(15)

(1)

(64)

Note: Percentage of exports to the whole world in parentheses.

Manufactured goods

Origin

Destination

World

Developing economies

Transition economies

Developed
economies

Total

Africa

America

Asia and Oceania

World

13 022 291

5 079 746

373 965

744 779

3 961 003

370 702

7 540 532

(100)

(39)

(3)

(6)

(30)

(3)

(58)

Developing economies

5 847 070

3 191 911

221 430

313 529

2 656 952

133 321

2 518 999

(100)

(55)

(4)

(5)

(45)

(2)

(43)

Developing economies: Africa

109 907

52 818

31 916

3 991

16 911

732

55 524

(100)

(48)

(29)

(4)

(15)

(1)

(51)

Developing economies: America

507 694

102 734

2 276

80 833

19 625

734

403 300

(100)

(20)

(0)

(16)

(4)

(0)

(79)

Developing economies: Asia and Oceania

5 229 469

3 036 359

187 238

228 705

2 620 416

131 856

2 060 174

(100)

(58)

(4)

(4)

(50)

(3)

(39)

Transition economies

165 960

42 822

6 009

5 543

31 270

56 625

66 130

(100)

(26)

(4)

(3)

(19)

(34)

(40)

Developed economies

7 009 260

1 845 013

146 525

425 707

1 272 781

180 755

4 955 404

(100)

(26)

(2)

(6)

(18)

(3)

(71)

Note: Percentage of exports to the whole world in parentheses.

Ores, metals, precious stones and non-monetary gold

Origin

Destination

World

Developing economies

Transition economies

Developed
economies

Total

Africa

America

Asia and Oceania

World

1 184 266

613 017

21 817

22 905

568 295

17 617

547 932

(100)

(52)

(2)

(2)

(48)

(1)

(46)

Developing economies

539 687

351 460

14 932

9 912

326 616

3 047

180 214

(100)

(65)

(3)

(2)

(61)

(1)

(33)

Developing economies: Africa

92 030

52 855

8 330

691

43 834

612

33 926

(100)

(57)

(9)

(1)

(48)

(1)

(37)

Developing economies: America

129 230

76 724

865

5 918

69 942

826

51 359

(100)

(59)

(1)

(5)

(54)

(1)

(40)

Developing economies: Asia and Oceania

318 428

221 880

5 737

3 304

212 840

1 609

94 929

(100)

(70)

(2)

(1)

(67)

(1)

(30)

Transition economies

61 964

17 674

597

221

16 855

7 868

36 422

(100)

(29)

(1)

(0)

(27)

(13)

(59)

Developed economies

582 614

243 884

6 288

12 772

224 824

6 702

331 296

(100)

(42)

(1)

(2)

(39)

(1)

(57)

Note: Percentage of exports to the whole world in parentheses.