This article analyses the GDP shares of the agriculture sector and the hydrocarbon and mining sector in the South American countries between 1960 and 2014. Although the share of the agriculture sector has been trending downward in South America, common features can be observed in three subgroups of countries. The first comprises the founding members of MERCOSUR, where agricultural and agro-industrial trade was in surplus and the share of the agriculture sector rose back up between 2002 and 2007. The second subgroup are the Andean countries, where the agriculture sector share of GDP declined from 1960 onward while that of hydrocarbon and mining production increased, especially during the 2000s. The third subgroup consists of Guyana and Suriname, where the historical series of the agriculture sector share of GDP takes the form of an inverted U.