Chinese Imports: The most purchased products in the Latin American region

Published on 10 November 2020

Learn about the best selling Chinese products on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. This is a good reference to identify business opportunities. Veritrade makes it possible.

In today's competitive and open world, the creation of a brand does not mean that production is done in the same place of establishment. There are many examples of how different companies have moved their headquarters or outsourced their manufacturing to suppliers located in Asia, among which cases in information technology, automobiles and textiles stand out. By scale, China is the main country in the continent where cost reduction is leveraged, so in this article we will show what products are sold the most to some of the main Latin American markets. Perhaps some opportunities for future businesses can be identified.

Chinese imports in Chile

China is a source of consumer goods, intermediates and raw materials. The main differences between the imports of the countries analyzed are marked by the needs of their industries, as is the case with mining in Chile. In addition to the elements highlighted in all markets, such as technological devices, automobiles, textiles and finished metals ready for metalworking or assembly, sulfuric acid and mineral grinding balls show the importance of obtaining inputs in large quantities and at low prices. On the other hand, renewable energy has had one of the largest penetrations of the region in this country, due to the absence of natural gas. For this reason, solar panels are also part of the list of the most imported products.

If you think of China as the origin of products to market in Chile, it is definitely a good place to look for phones, shoes, and probably textiles. On the other hand, if you have knowledge of the chemical and metallurgical industries, you may be able to evaluate opportunities to make some shipments.

Chinese imports in Colombia

In the case of Colombia, the industries that make the difference in purchases are plastics and textiles. The production of construction materials and fashion are two cases in which niches have been developed for the production of window frames and underwear, to mention two outstanding examples. It should be noted that Colombia is also a vehicle assembly point, so car imports could have more competition, while motorcycles have good growth potential due to the rugged geography and culture of mobilization in peripheral areas or towns.

Perhaps the best alternative to start importing to Colombia is to evaluate how to supply its manufacturers and clothing brands. Also, motorcycle parts could be another option with potential.

Chinese imports in Ecuador
The list of most imported chinese products in Ecuador is more related to the consumption of finished goods than to the use in industries. It is interesting to note the relevance of Chinese brands in the automotive market, which shows a mix of positioning and adaptation to demand in emerging economies. Another product that stands out is motorcycles, for the same geographical and cultural reasons as in Colombia.

Ecuador's figures show a good positioning of brands and suppliers linked to the technology, metallurgical and automotive industries. Being part of the supply chain of any product in these sectors can be a good business option. On the other hand, even if they do not appear in the table, textiles and footwear always represent a viable alternative, in view of China's ability to offer low prices for standardized qualities, allowing for private labeling or reaching consumers with lower prices.

Imports of Chinese products into Mexico

The proximity to the United States makes the list of products imported by Mexico quite atypical. The products of several U.S. brands are assembled on the other side of its southern border, since it is more profitable to hire Mexican labor. This does not match the low prices of Chinese labor, but saves the cost of transportation to cross the Pacific Ocean. The technology and household appliance industries, in particular, are the ones that make the most use of this productive structure.

If you plan to sell Chinese products in Mexico, you definitely can't leave out the assemblers and even retailers, so going into the distribution of memory cards or circuits is a good alternative. The options for the textile industry can also be reviewed, although the scale of local companies is likely to impose certain restrictions.

Imports of Chinese products into Peru

As for Peru, the most imported products are a mixture of what you see in Chile, with Colombia and Ecuador. On the one hand, the mining matrix that is fundamental to the economy makes grinding balls and mechanical shovels relevant imports. Also, it has a very important textile industry, which takes advantage of the commercial opening with the benefit of being able to work the synthetic fibers in the local sewing workshops.

For Peru, an importer can evaluate the possibility of supplying producers and sellers of clothing and footwear. If they have knowledge of the heavy machinery or chemical industry, they can also evaluate what could be offered to mining companies. On the other hand, technological and automotive products are always an option.

Looking Ahead

China offers variety, low prices and fluidity of supply. However, in addition to low costs, one must focus on demand analysis. The first thing to assess is whether there are buyers interested in changing the origin or brand of their inputs or goods, and secondly, the quantities they could acquire. Current projections suggest that 2021 would mean the definitive recovery of Latin American economies after the crisis, but the instability of the situation leads to the need for caution in the preparation of orders and contracts.

Looking ahead, China is undoubtedly an origin to be considered when thinking about where to acquire inputs or capital goods for our businesses.
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