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What Are the Top U.S. Exports?

David Noah David Noah | December 20, 2021 | International Sales & Marketing

What are the Top U.S. Exports? | Shipping SolutionsAs the world’s largest trading nation, with more than $5.6 trillion in exports and imports of goods and services in 2019, the United States is a cornerstone of the global economy. Currently, the U.S. has trade relations with more than 200 countries, territories and regional associations around the globe.

In this article, we’ll share the top U.S. exports based on recent numbers and explain how exporters can pursue exporting to these markets.

Top 5 U.S. Exports

As the second-largest exporter in the world—outranked only by China—total U.S. exports for 2020 are estimated to be valued at $2,127,250,000,000. According to the most recent data from CIA Factbook, the following are the United States’ top exports:

1. Refined Petroleum: $84.9 billion

In 2019, the main export destinations of refined petroleum from the U.S. were:

  • Mexico: $26.7 billion
  • Canada: $9.62 billion
  • Brazil: $8.16 billion
  • Chile: $3.22 billion
  • Colombia: $3.13 billion

Between 2018 and 2019 (the most current numbers available), the fastest-growing export markets for U.S. refined petroleum were were Brazil, Colombia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

2. Crude Petroleum: $61.9 billion

Between August 2020 and August 2021, crude petroleum exports have increased by $2.12 billion—50.4%—from $4.2 billion to $6.32 billion. As of 2019, the U.S. was the world’s fifth-largest exporter of crude petroleum.

The main export destinations of crude petroleum from the U.S. were:

  • Canada: $9.82 billion
  • South Korea: $8.81 billion
  • Netherlands: $5.36 billion
  • India: $5.36 billion
  • United Kingdom: $5.14 billion

Between 2018 and 2019, the fastest-growing export markets for U.S. crude petroleum were South Korea, Netherlands and India.

3. Cars: $56.9 billion

In 2019, the U.S. was the world’s third-largest exporter of cars; cars were also the third most-exported product in the U.S. that year. The main export destinations of cars from the U.S. were:

  • Canada: $13.9 billion
  • China: $7.34 billion
  • Germany: $6.84 billion
  • Belgium: $4.29 billion
  • Mexico: $2.72 billion

Between 2018 and 2019, the fastest-growing export markets for U.S. cars were Belgium, Germany and China.

4. Integrated Circuits: $41.4 billion

The U.S. was the world’s sixth-largest exporter of integrated circuits in 2019. The main export destinations of circuits from the U.S. were:

  • China: $8.47 billion
  • Mexico: $7.68 billion
  • Hong Kong: $3.47 billion
  • Chinese Taipei: $3.23 billion
  • South Korea: $3.13 billion

Between 2018 and 2019, the fastest-growing export markets for U.S. integrated circuits were China, Mexico and Vietnam. Growth is expected to continue for integrated circuit exports.

5. Vehicle Parts: $41.2 billion

The U.S. was the world’s second-largest exporter of vehicle parts in 2019. The main export destinations of vehicle parts from the U.S. were:

  • Mexico: $16.3 billion
  • Canada: $14.8 billion
  • China: $1.54 billion
  • Germany: $763 million
  • United Kingdom: $680 million

Between 2018 and 2019, the fastest-growing export markets for U.S. vehicle parts were Spain, Thailand and United Arab Emirates.

Additionally, some of the other most-exported products from the U.S. include aircraft; medical instruments and apparatus; plastics, precious gems, metals and jewelry; and organic chemicals.

Regions America Exports to Most

According to the most recent numbers, U.S. goods exports to the world totaled $1.6 trillion in 2019, which is down 1.4%, or $22.5 billion, from 2018.

The top purchasers of U.S. goods exports were:

  • Canada: $292.6 billion
  • Mexico: $256.6 billion
  • China: $106.4 billion
  • Japan: $74.4 billion 
  • United Kingdom: $69.1 billion 

How Exporters Can Identify Opportunities for Exporting

Typically, exporters already know what they’re going to export—they simply need some help or guidance to get it done.

But in some cases, exporters may be looking at potential industries, products or services for their businesses to grow into. There are two ways to do this: The first way is to passively wait for potential new customers to reach out to you, ask for information about your products or services, and hopefully—one day—place an order.

The second, recommended way to grow your exports is to identify strategic buyers of your products or services, market segments that utilize your goods, countries that have a need for what you sell, and global companies that you will compete against. While this strategy requires more work, it has the potential to generate significant, consistent growth that can help take your company to the next level of revenues and profits.

We’ve created a free guide, Global Strategy: Identifying Global Strategic Players, to help you identify opportunities for your business. It also explains the criteria you should use to identify strategic buyers, markets, countries and competitors, and how to build useful profiles of each so you know where and how to focus your efforts. Just click below to download it absolutely free.

Identifying Global Strategic Players  - Shipping Solutions

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