The new exports per department report by Uruguay XXI is now online

Montevideo and Colonia are responsible for almost 40% of Uruguay's foreign placements.
Publication date: 16/10/2020

The Trade Intelligence area of Uruguay XXI released the new report on exports per department. According to the report's data, Colonia led the exports of goods in 2019, exceeding 22% of the total, mainly driven by industrial production within its Free Trade Zones. The Montes del Plata cellulose plant and the Pepsico beverage concentrate plant are located in Colonia.   

While Montevideo produced more than 17% of the goods for export. The Uruguayan capital is the department with the smallest territorial extension, while its population is 99% urban, so agricultural production is marginal. Nevertheless, as it concentrates most of the population and has the country's main port, it plays an important role as an exporter of industrialized goods. 

Canelones is the third-largest exporter, with just over 13% of total placements, as it has a variety of export industries, many of them related to the transformation of agricultural products. It is also a leading exporter of chemical and pharmaceutical products, as well as dairy products, plastics, and wood. 

Rio Negro ranks fourth with more than 10% of the total amount exported. UPM's pulp production plant located in Fray Bentos plays a fundamental role. San José, meanwhile, almost reaches 7% of total exports. The department produces dairy products, beef, wool, and auto parts, among others. 

The remaining 30% of exported goods are produced in the other 14 departments. 

Main exported products by department

In 2019, meat continued to lead the list of Uruguayan export products with placements equivalent to USD 1.78 billion in foreign markets. The distribution per department is as follows: Canelones (39%), Durazno (15%), Tacuarembó (10%), Colonia (8%), Cerro Largo (7%), Río Negro (7%), Montevideo (6%) and others (8%). 

Cellulose, which has been strongly consolidated in the last few years, reached USD 1.52 billion, of which Colonia and Río Negro are equally responsible. 

In the near future, the construction of a third cellulose plant in the Central-Northeast region of Uruguay will increase exports of goods considerably, transforming cellulose into the country's main export product. 

Soybeans came in third place with exports equivalent to USD 994 million. The department of Colonia leads the ranking with 40%, followed by Soriano (21%), Montevideo (10%), Río Negro (9%), Paysandú (4%), and San José (4%). 

In fourth place were dairy products, with sales of USD 648 million. San José (35%), Florida (31%), Rio Negro (9%), and Montevideo (10%) are the largest exporters of this product. 

Colonia, with its Pepsico plant, is the only exporter of beverage concentrates. It entered fifth on the list of exported products in 2019 with USD 524 million. 

The top 10 exported products complete it: rice, produced in the departments of Treinta y Tres (25%), Cerro Largo (22%), Rocha (18%) and Artigas (13%); wood and wood products, Montevideo (36%) and Tacuarembó (26%); meat offal and by-products, Canelones (32%), Montevideo (18%) and Tacuarembó (14%); plastics and manufactures, Montevideo (43%), Canelones (32%) and San José (20%); and malt, Colonia (30%), Montevideo (36%) and Paysandú (34%).

The three main export destinations are China -which receives mostly soya, beef, and cellulose-, Brazil, and the United States. 

Read here the complete report of Uruguayan goods exports per department