Maine’s Top 10 Exports

Maine state flag courtesy of

Maine state flag

Nicknamed “The Pine Tree State” located in America’s New England region within northeastern United States, Maine shipped US$2.8 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 4.2% gain from 2017 to 2018 and a 2.3% increase since 2015.

Maine is America’s 45th-biggest exporter by state behind front-runners including Texas, California, New York and Washington states. The value of Maine’s exports equals 0.2% of United States’ overall exported products for 2018.

Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Maine’s exported products represent 4.3% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2018 (65.3 billion in current dollars based on BEA statistics).

Given Maine’s population of 1.338 million people, its total $2.8 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $2,100 for every resident in the Pine Tree State.

Maine’s unemployment rate was 3.3% at May 2019 down from 2.7% as of March 2018, per YCharts.

Maine’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export products represent the highest dollar value in Maine global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Maine.

Figures are shown at the more granular six-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, for more precise product identification.

  1. Composite diagnostic/laboratory reagents: US$386 million (13.7% of Maine’s total exports)
  2. Chemical woodpulp (non-coniferous): $254 million (9%)
  3. Fresh/chilled lobsters: $243 million (8.6%)
  4. Natural gas (gaseous state): $165 million (5.8%)
  5. Integrated circuits (excluding processors/controllers): $138 million (4.9%)
  6. Mucilage, thickener: $79 million (2.8%)
  7. Salmon fillets: $67 million (2.4%)
  8. Aircraft including engines, parts: $58 million (2.1%)
  9. Miscellaneous coniferous logs/poles: $55 million (2%)
  10. Paper, paperboard: $48 million (1.7%)

Maine’s top 10 exports accounted for over half (53%) of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.

Aircraft including engines and other parts was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 48.7% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for improving export sales were integrated circuits excluding processors and controllers which rose 23.2%.

Composite diagnostic/laboratory reagents appreciated by 18.8%.

The leading decliner among Maine’s top 10 export products were salmon fillets thanks to a -15.2% dip year over year.

More Key Facts

Overall, Maine incurred a -$1 billion deficit exporting and importing products during 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 72.1% year-over-year increase from -$587 million in red ink for 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 Maine’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2018.

  1. Light petroleum oils: $241 million (6.3% of Maine’s total imports)
  2. Electrical energy: $224 million (5.8%)
  3. Fresh/chilled lobster: $165 million (4.3%)
  4. Liquified propane: $111 million (2.9%)
  5. Chemical woodpulp (non-coniferous): $100 million (2.6%)
  6. Miscellaneous petroleum oils: $99 million (2.6%)
  7. Footwear (leather uppers): $92 million (2.4%)
  8. Softwood lumber (coniferous): $78 million (2%)
  9. Turbo-jet parts: $78 million (2%)
  10. Chemical woodpulp (coniferous): $72 million (1.9%)

Maine has negative net exports in the international trade of petroleum oils and electrical energy–importing much of its electrical power from Canada. In turn, these cashflows indicate Maine’s competitive disadvantages under those product categories.


The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchased over three-quarters (78.6%) worth of the total value of products exported from Maine during 2018.

  1. Canada: $1.4 billion (50.1% of Maine’s total exports)
  2. China: $204 million (7.2%)
  3. Malaysia: $122 million (4.3%)
  4. Italy: $87 million (3.1%)
  5. Japan: $87 million (3.1%)
  6. South Korea: $66 million (2.4%)
  7. Germany: $66 million (2.3%)
  8. Singapore: $60 million (2.1%)
  9. Netherlands: $60 million (2.1%)
  10. Mexico: $53 million (1.9%)

Maine’s top trade partners in North America–Canada and Mexico–bought over half (52%) of the overall value of exported goods from the Pine Tree State.


Maine Export Companies

Not one Maine-based corporation ranks among Fortune 1000 Companies, a list that showcases America’s largest businesses.

According to Zippia, below are examples of relatively large companies based in Maine.

  • LL Bean (clothing, shoes, outdoor gear)
  • IDEXX Laboratories (animal health diagnostic goods, services)
  • Ahlstrom-Munksjö (fiber-based source materials)
  • WEX Inc. (payment processing, info technology)
  • Cherryfield Foods (canned fruits, vegetables)

Shown within brackets for each company is a summary of the international trade-related products or services which each business sells.


Maine’s capital is Augusta, a city named after Augusta Dearborn who was the daughter of America’s Revolutionary War soldier and statesman Henry Dearborn.

See also America’s Top 20 Export States, United States Top 10 Exports and Top United States Trade Balances

Research Sources:
Department of Numbers, Maine GDP (dollars shown in real terms). Accessed on June 23, 2019, Flags of US States. Accessed on June 23, 2019

Forbes, 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 23, 2019

GeoLounge, Fortune 1000 Companies List for 2016 , Fortune 1000 by State and Place. Accessed on June 23, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 23, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 23, 2019

State Symbols USA, State Nicknames. Accessed on June 23, 2019

United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade (State by 6-Digit HS Code). Accessed on June 23, 2019

United States Census Bureau, QuickFacts: Maine. Accessed on June 23, 2019

Wikipedia, Category:Companies based in Maine. Accessed on June 23, 2019

Wikipedia, List of U.S. states and territories by GDP. Accessed on June 23, 2019

Wikipedia, Maine. Accessed on June 23, 2019

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Augusta, United States. Accessed on June 23, 2019

YCharts, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Report. Accessed on June 23, 2019

Zippia, These are the 100 largest companies in Maine. Accessed on June 23, 2019