Nicknamed “The Sunshine State”, Florida shipped US$57.2 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 4.2% increase from 2017 to 2018 and a 6.2% upturn since 2015.
Florida mostly occupies a peninsula in the southeastern-most region of the continental United States separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
Florida is America’s eighth-biggest exporter by state well behind front-runners Texas, California, New York and Washington state. The value of Florida’s exports equals 3.3% of United States’ overall exported products for 2018.
Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Florida’s exported products represent 5.4% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2018 ($1.059 trillion in current dollars based on BEA statistics).
Given Florida’s population of 21.299 million people, its total $57.2 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $2,700 for every resident in the Sunshine State.
Florida’s unemployment rate was 3.4% as of April 2019 per YCharts.
Florida’s Top 10 Exports
The following export products represent the highest dollar value in Florida global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Florida.
Figures are shown at the more granular six-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, for more precise product identification.
- Aircraft including engines, parts: US$6.6 billion (11.5% of Florida’s total exports)
- Cell phones: $2.9 billion (5.1%)
- Gold (unwrought): $2 billion (4%)
- Modems, similar reception/transmission devices: $1014 million (1.8%)
- Integrated circuits (processors/controllers): $887 million (1.5%)
- Small portable digital computers: $791 million (1.4%)
- Polyamides: $698 million (1.2%)
- Computer parts and accessories: $656 million (1.1%)
- Medical/surgical/dental/veterinarian instruments: $649 million (1.1%)
- Perfumes, toilet waters: $645 million (1.1%)
Florida’s top 10 exports accounted for over a quarter (29.3%) of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.
Polyamides were the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 31.5% from 2017 to 2018.
In second place for improving export sales were medical, surgical, dental and veterinarian instruments or appliances which rose 9.3%.
Florida’s third-fastest gain was 8.4% year over year for two product categories namely modems and similar reception or transmission devices, and computer parts and accessories.
The leading decliners among Florida top 10 export products were small portable digital computers (down -10.6%) and unwrought gold (down -10.4%).
More Key Facts
Overall, Florida incurred a -$18.4 billion deficit exporting and importing products during 2018. That dollar amount reflects a -3.1% year-over-year decrease from -$18.7 billion in red ink in 2017.
Another way of saying surplus or deficit is positive or negative net exports. In a nutshell, the term “net exports” quantifies the amount by which foreign spending on a state’s goods or services exceeds or lags that same state’s spending on foreign goods or services.
Below are Florida’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2018.
- Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $3.3 billion (4.4% of Florida’s total imports)
- Gold (unwrought): $2.6 billion (3.5%)
- Cell phones: $2.5 billion (3.3%)
- Miscellaneous petroleum oils: $1.4 billion (1.9%)
- Bananas: $978 million (1.3%)
- Fresh or chilled salmon fillets: $887 million (1.2%)
- Perfumes, fragrances: $878 million (1.2%)
- Cigars, cigarillos: $852 million (1.1%)
- Integrated circuits (processors/controllers): $836 million (1.1%)
- Large aircraft: $784 million (1%)
Florida has highly negative net exports in the international trade of automobiles. In turn, these cashflows indicate Florida’s competitive disadvantages under the automobiles product category showing the strong impact of foreign-made automotive goods on Florida’s global balance sheet}
The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchased 44.5% worth of the total value of products exported from Florida during 2018.
- Brazil $4.2 billion (7.6% of Florida’s total exports)
- Canada $3.6 billion (6.5%)
- Mexico $3.1 billion (5.6%)
- Germany $2.4 billion (4.3%)
- Colombia $2.3 billion (4.2%)
- Paraguay $2.1 billion (3.8%)
- China $1.9 billion (3.4%)
- Chile $1.8 billion (3.3%)
- Argentina $1.7 billion (3%)
- Dominican Republic $1.6 billion (2.8%)
Florida’s top trade partners in South America (Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina) account for 22.1% of the overall value of exported goods from the Sunshine State. This compares with 12.3% of Floridian shipments consumed by North American trade partners, Mexico and Canada.
Florida Export Companies
Thirty-five of Florida-based corporations rank among Fortune 1000 Companies, a list that showcases America’s largest businesses. Selected examples are shown below.
- Dycom Industries (telecommunications)
- Tupperware Brands Corp (household goods, cosmetics, personal care)
- Platform Specialty Products Corp (chemicals)
- B/E Aerospace (aircraft-related products)
- Citrix Systems (software, cloud computing technologies)
- Roper Technologies (systems, controls, instruments)
- Watsco (air conditioning, heating, refrigeration-related goods)
- MasTec (pipelines, wireless communications, infrastructure)
- Harris Corp (communication, electronic, space, intelligence systems)
- Ryder (transportation/supply chain management goods)
Shown within brackets for each company is a summary of the international trade-related products or services which each business sells.
Florida’s capital is Tallahassee, a city nicknamed “Tally”.
See also America’s Top 20 Export States, United States Top 10 Exports and Top United States Trade Balances
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FlagPictures.org, Flags of US States. Accessed on June 12, 2019
Forbes, Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 12, 2019
GeoLounge, Fortune 1000 Companies List for 2016 , Fortune 1000 by State and Place. Accessed on June 12, 2019
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 12, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 12, 2019
United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade (State by 6-Digit HS Code). Accessed on June 12, 2019
United States Census Bureau, QuickFacts: Florida. Accessed on June 12, 2019
Wikipedia, Florida. Accessed on June 12, 2019
Wikipedia, List of Florida Companies. Accessed on June 12, 2019
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Tallahassee, United States. Accessed on June 12, 2019
YCharts, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Report. Accessed on June 12, 2019