Nicknamed “The Pine Tree State” located in America’s New England region within northeastern United States, Maine shipped US$2.7 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a -4.4% downtick from 2018 to 2019 and a -5.3% decrease since 2016.
Maine ranks among America’s 50 biggest exporters 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% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2019 (67.5 billion in current dollars based on BEA statistics).
Given Maine’s population of 1.344 million people, its total $2.7 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $2,000 for every resident in the Pine Tree State.
Maine’s unemployment rate was 3.2% at February 2020 up from 2.7% as of March 2019, per YCharts.
Maine’s Top 10 Exports
The following export products represent the highest dollar value in Maine global shipments during 2019. 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.
- Fresh/chilled lobsters: US$368 million (13.6% of Maine’s total exports)
- Aircraft including engines, parts: $293 million (10.8%)
- Natural gas (gaseous state): $167 million (6.2%)
- Integrated circuits (excluding processors/controllers): $161 million (5.9%)
- Chemical woodpulp (non-coniferous): $110 million (4%)
- Coniferous rough wood including spruce: $70 million (2.6%)
- Paper, paperboard: $70 million (2.6%)
- Atlantic salmon: $56 million (2.1%)
- Mucilage, thickeners: $54 million (2%)
- Composite diagnostic/laboratory reagents: $49 million (1.8%)
Maine’s top 10 exports accounted for over half (51.6%) of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.
Coniferous rough wood including spruce represents the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 6,900% from 2018 to 2019. The only other top product categories to grow were aircraft including engines and other parts (up 15.4%) and composite diagnostic and laboratory reagents (up 2.1%).
The leading decliner among Maine’s top 10 export products was natural gas in gaseous state due to its -31.3% setback year over year.
More Key Facts
Overall, Maine incurred a -$1.9 billion deficit exporting and importing products during 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 92% year-over-year increase from -$1 billion in red ink for 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 Maine’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2019.
- Light petroleum oils: $591 million (12.7% of Maine’s total imports)
- Miscellaneous petroleum oils: $543 million (11.7%)
- Electrical energy: $188 million (4%)
- Fresh/chilled lobsters: $185 million (4%)
- Chemical woodpulp (non-coniferous): $109 million (2.4%)
- Turbo-jet parts: $109 million (2.3%)
- Liquified propane: $86 million (1.8%)
- Miscellaneous sawn or chipped coniferous wood: $83 million (1.8%)
- Footwear with outer soles (rubber, plastic or composition leather): $79 million (1.7%)
- Chemical woodpulp (coniferous): $68 million (1.5%)
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%) worth of the total value of products exported from Maine during 2019.
- Canada: $1.4 billion (51.6% of Maine’s total exports)
- China: $135 million (5%)
- Malaysia: $112 million (4.1%)
- Italy: $86 million (3.2%)
- Japan: $72 million (2.6%)
- Netherlands: $67 million (2.5%)
- South Korea: $66 million (2.4%)
- United Kingdom: $64 million (2.4%)
- Germany: $58 million (2.1%)
- Singapore: $58 million (2.1%)
Maine’s top trade partners in North America–Canada and Mexico–bought over half (53.5%) 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
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