Nicknamed “The Sunshine State”, Florida shipped US$56 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a -2.1% decrease from 2018 to 2019 but a 7.7% uptick since 2016.
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 3.5% of United States’ overall exported products for 2019.
Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Florida’s exported products represent 5.3% 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 21.478 million people, its total $56 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $2,600 for every resident in the Sunshine State.
Florida’s unemployment rate was 2.8% at January 2020, down from 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 2019. 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$7.5 billion (13.4% of Florida’s total exports)
- Cell phones: $2.6 billion (4.6%)
- Gold (unwrought): $1.3 billion (2.2%)
- Modems, similar reception/transmission devices: $1.1 billion (2%)
- Integrated circuits (processors/controllers): $950 million (1.7%)
- Small portable digital computers: $786 million (1.4%)
- Ammonium dihydrogenorthophosphate: $683 million (1.2%)
- Medical/surgical/dental/veterinarian instruments: $650 million (1.2%)
- Polyamides: $640 million (1.1%)
- Mineral or chemical fertilizers: $631 million (1.1%)
Florida’s top 10 exports accounted for over a quarter (29.9%) of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.
Aircraft including engines and other parts represents the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 31.5% from 2018 to 2019. In second place for improving export sales was ammonium dihydrogenorthophosphate thanks to an 8.9% increase. Florida’s third-fastest gain was 8.7% year over year for modems and similar reception or transmission devices.
Leading decliners among Florida top 10 export products were gold (down -36.7%) and cell phones (down -11.5%).
More Key Facts
Overall, Florida incurred a -$19.3 billion deficit exporting and importing products during 2019. That dollar amount reflects an 18% year-over-year increase from -$16.4 billion in red ink in 2018.
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 2019.
- Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $4 billion (4.9% of Florida’s total imports)
- Cell phones: $2.6 billion (3.2%)
- Miscellaneous petroleum oils: $2.1 billion (2.6%)
- Nucleic acids, salts: $1.5 billion (1.8%)
- Integrated circuits (processors/controllers): $1.3 billion (1.6%)
- Fresh or chilled salmon fillets: $1.2 billion (1.4%)
- Bananas: $989 million (1.2%)
- Gold (unwrought): $945 million (1.2%)
- Cigars, cigarillos: $944 million (1.2%)
- Light petroleum oils: $870 million (1.1%)
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 29.9% worth of the total value of products exported from Florida during 2019.
- Brazil $7.5 billion (13.4% of Florida’s total exports)
- Canada $2.6 billion (4.6%)
- Mexico $1.3 billion (2.2%)
- Colombia $1.1 billion (2%)
- Chile $1 billion (1.7%)
- United Kingdom $786 million (1.4%)
- Dominican Republic $683 million (1.2%)
- Germany $650 million (1.2%)
- Paraguay $640 million (1.1%)
- Peru $631 million (1.1%)
Florida’s top trade partners in South America (Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru) account for 17.6% of the overall value of exported goods from the Sunshine State. This compares with 6.8% 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 March 19, 2020
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International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 19, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 19, 2020
United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade (State by 6-Digit HS Code). Accessed on March 19, 2020
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