The main export continues to be coffee, although El Salvador has long sought to diversify its exports into other agricultural products such as cotton, as well as manufactures. One of the country's greatest weaknesses remains its trade deficit. In 2000, the value of imports was almost three times that of exports. The deficit is sustained in part by huge inflows of remittances from Salvadoran workers in the US, estimated at $1.34 billion in 1998.
El Salvador depends upon its coffee growers for almost a quarter of its commodity exports revenues (22%). Other major exports include paper (6.2%), apparel (5.5%), sugar and honey (5.3%), and medicinal and pharmaceutical products (4.3%). In 2000 El Salvador's imports were distributed among the following categories:
Principal trading partners in 2000 (in millions of US dollars) were: