Cuba flag Cuba: Visió econòmica i política

Xifres de comerç exterior de Cuba

Foreign Trade in Figures

According to the World Bank, Cuba is not only a country that is open to foreign trade, but it is also highly dependent on it, as trade represents 89% of the GDP. The country has been a member of WTO since 20 April 1995 and a member of GATT since 1 January 1948. According to the latest available data from OEC, in 2022, Cuba’s main exports were rolled tobacco (USD 275 million), nickel mattes (USD 163 million), zinc ore (USD 127 million), hard liquor (USD 102 million), and raw sugar (USD 67.2 million); whereas imports were led by poultry meat (USD 365 million), concentrated milk (USD 115 million), soybean oil (USD 108 million), corn (USD 105 million), and wheat (USD 102 million).

In 2022, Cuba's main export partners were China (USD 426 million), Spain (USD 139 million), Germany (USD 58.5 million), Portugal (USD 43.3 million), and Switzerland (USD 41.4 million). As per imports, they came chiefly from Spain (USD 812 million), China (USD 404 million), the United States (USD 341 million), Brazil (USD 290 million), and the Netherlands (USD 225 million). The embargo imposed by the United States has long been an obstacle to Cuba's foreign trade. It prohibits most trade and financial transactions between American companies and Cuban entities, aiming to isolate Cuba politically and economically. Located at the crossroads between Latin America and the United States, Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and maintains strong economic and financial relations with Venezuela - its energy partner. Relations with China, Cuba's most important trade partner, have been intensifying for the past decade. Furthermore, Beijing purchases much of the Cuban nickel, which has overtaken sugar as the country's leading export commodity.

Cuba's lack of transparency remains an obstacle towards accurately accounting its trade balance. According to the WTO data, Cuba is a net importer of goods and, in 2021, imports of goods were equal to USD 8.4 billion, while exports totaled USD 1.9 billion (latest data available).  The imports of services in the same year were valued at USD 1.6 billion, by far inferior to exports, which totaled USD 5.8 billion. According to preliminary figures released from the Central Bank of Cuba, the value of goods and services exports in 2023 was USD 9 billion, a figure approximately 770 million lower than planned. This included around 2.15 billion in goods and 6.91 billion in services, resulting in export levels lower than those achieved in 2022. In the exports chapter, there was a 15% decrease in the price of nickel per ton, with production remaining at 41,000 tons for the year. Meanwhile, the price of sugar increased by 28%, although national production fell 25% below the planned level. Additionally, there was an expenditure higher than planned on goods imports, due to price increases, resulting in an additional outlay of USD 718 million compared to 2019.

Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 9,9017,2308,4319,8338,920
Exports of Goods (million USD) 2,0621,7031,9662,1701,939
Imports of Services (million USD) 2,0281,5381,6880n/a
Exports of Services (million USD) 10,2406,9855,8840n/a

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20172018201920202021
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -1.6-2.0-2.9-7.6-4.7
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 0.0-2.4-4.6-20.5-9.1
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 11.712.610.67.545.1
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 14.614.512.28.234.9

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

International Economic Cooperation
Cuba is a member of:

- WTO (the GATT agreement came into force on the 20/03/1948 in Havana) but it only became an active member again on the 20/04/1995
-The Latin American integration association (ALADI) and in this context, it has entered into some preferential bilateral agreements (with Chile and Argentina concerning wine).
Cuba has additionally signed an agreement for economic cooperation with Venezuela called the ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas): Since 2000, Venezuela has thus supplied 100 000 barrels of petrol a day to Cuba through this agreement while Cuba has sent more than 20 000 doctors to Venezuela.

Cuba is also a member of:

- the World Health Organization (WHO)
- the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
- the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
- the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
- the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL)
- the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The country have signed a trade agreement with 21 other countries in the São Paulo Round of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).


To go further, check out our service Import-Export Flows.

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Actualitzacions: April 2024

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