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$2.6 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount represents a -7.9% drop from 2016 to 2017 and a -5.8% decline since 2014.

Maine is America’s 45th-biggest exporter by state behind front-runners Texas, California, Washington and New York state. The value of Maine’s exports equals 0.2% of United States’ overall exported products for 2017.

Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Maine’s exported products represent 5.1% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2016. The latter real dollar values were expressed in 2009 chained dollars, according to the BEA.

Given Maine’s population of 1.336 million people, its total $2.6 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $2,000 for every resident in the Pine Tree State.

Maine’s unemployment rate was 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 2017. 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. Fresh/chilled lobsters: US$326 million (12.3% of Maine’s total exports)
  2. Aircraft including engines, parts: $248 million (9.4%)
  3. Integrated circuits (excluding processors/controllers): $180 million (6.8%)
  4. Natural gas (gaseous state): $156 million (5.9%)
  5. Chemical woodpulp (non-coniferous): $112 million (4.2%)
  6. Paper, paperboard: $84 million (3.2%)
  7. Miscellaneous coniferous logs/poles: $74 million (2.8%)
  8. Mucilage, thickener: $53 million (2.0%)
  9. Pacific salmon: $48 million (1.8%)
  10. Composite diagnostic/lab reagents: $47 million (1.8%)

Maine’s top 10 exports accounted for 50.2% of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.

Composite diagnostic/lab reagents was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 11.9% from 2016.

In second place for improving export sales was non-coniferous chemical woodpulp which rose 0.9%.

The leading decliner among Maine’s top 10 export products was paper and paperboard which retreated -28.2% year over year.

More Key Facts

Overall, Maine incurred a -$659 million deficit exporting and importing products during 2017. That dollar amount reflects a 37.6% year-over-year increase from -$479 million in red ink for 2016.

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 2017.

  1. Electrical energy: $215 million (6.5% of Maine’s total imports)
  2. Fresh/chilled lobster: $166 million (5%)
  3. Chemical woodpulp (non-coniferous): $100 million (3%)
  4. Softwood lumber (coniferous): $100 million (3%)
  5. Footwear (leather uppers): $97 million (2.9%)
  6. Liquified propane: $88 million (2.7%)
  7. Miscellaneous petroleum oils: $51 million (1.6%)
  8. Footwear (outer rubber soles, ankle-covered): $49 million (1.5%)
  9. Chemical woodpulp (coniferous): $49 million (1.5%)
  10. Large aircraft: $39 million (1.2%)

Maine has negative net exports in the international trade of electrical energy, importing much of its electrical power from Canada. In turn, these cashflows indicate Maine’s competitive disadvantages under that product category.


The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchase 80.6% worth of the total value of products exported from Maine during 2017.

  1. Canada: $1.2 billion (45.5% of Maine’s total exports)
  2. China: $238 million (9%)
  3. Malaysia: $158 million (6%)
  4. Germany: $150 million (5.7%)
  5. Japan: $91 million (3.4%)
  6. Italy: $66 million (2.5%)
  7. Philippines: $60 million (2.3%)
  8. South Korea: $59 million (2.2%)
  9. Netherlands: $54 million (2%)
  10. Mexico: $52 million (2%)

Maine’s top trade partners in North America–Canada and Mexico–consume almost half (47.5%) 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 in 2017, 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 May 10, 2018, Flags of US States. Accessed on May 10, 2018

Forbes, 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 10, 2018

GeoLounge, Fortune 1000 Companies List for 2016 , Fortune 1000 by State and Place. Accessed on May 10, 2018

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on May 10, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 10, 2018

State Symbols USA, State Nicknames. Accessed on May 10, 2018

United States Census Bureau, QuickFacts: Maine. Accessed on May 10, 2018

Wikipedia, Maine. Accessed on May 10, 2018

Wikipedia, Category:Companies based in Maine. Accessed on May 10, 2018

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Augusta, United States. Accessed on May 10, 2018

YCharts, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Report. Accessed on May 10, 2018

Zippia, These are the 100 largest companies in Maine. Accessed on May 10, 2018