Major Exports by Continent

Continent exports scorecard (courtesy of

Continent exports scorecard

By value, roughly four-fifths (79.2%) of all globally exported products during 2017 originated from Asia and Europe.

A large portion of Asia’s major exports are electronics components, mobile phones, computers and related equipment. Leading exported goods from Europe are cars and automotive parts or accessories.

Listed below are searchable tables showing the 25 major exported products specific to each continent. These continental scorecards are presented in descending order starting with geographic areas responsible for the highest overall value worth of exported goods. Please scroll down to see the continent-specific table that you wish to research.

Asia’s Major Exported Products

Asia is a dominant player in the international sales of integrated circuits and semi-conductors, key components particularly for computerized machinery and also solar power equipment. On the apparel front, Asia is the number one supplier of women’s clothing as well as cases, handbags and wallets.

Additionally, Asia leads with majority percentages exporting both crude oil and refined petroleum oils. This is because many Middle Eastern fossil-fuel producing countries are geographically considered part of Asia.

RankExport ProductUS$Global%
1.Integrated circuits/microassemblies$540.1 billion86.6%
2.Phone system devices including smartphones$423.7 billion75.3%
3.Crude oil$421.3 billion49.9%
4.Processed petroleum oils$284.6 billion43.2%
5.Computers, optical readers$219.2 billion65.6%
6.Cars$185 billion24.7%
7.Gold (unwrought)$117.8 billion36.7%
8.Automobile parts/accessories$115.6 billion29.7%
9.Computer parts, accessories$88.9 billion71.2%
10.Petroleum gases$88.6 billion32.5%
11.Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$86.1 billion78.8%
12.Diamonds (unmounted/unset)$71.8 billion55.2%
13.Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$67 billion86.9%
14.Jewelry$62.5 billion58.9%
15.Cruise/cargo ships, barges$57.8 billion75.8%
16.Printing machinery$57.4 billion60.7%
17.Electrical converters/power units$53.6 billion57.8%
18.TV/radio/radar device parts$51 billion80.3%
19.TV receivers/monitors/projectors$46.6 billion50.4%
20.Machinery for making semi-conductors$46 billion60.1%
21.Insulated wire/cable$45.9 billion38.4%
22.Lower-voltage switches, fuses$45.6 billion44.8%
23.Printed circuits$43.4 billion87.2%
24.Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)$43.3 billion66.8%
25.Cases, handbags, wallets$40.3 billion61.5%

Fastest-growing among Asia’s major exported goods is machinery for making semi-conductors (up 38.4% from 2016 to 2017), processed petroleum oils (up 35.8%), crude oil (up 29.7%) then computer parts or accessories (up 24.3%).

Europe’s Major Exported Products

Europe is a primary source for medical-related exports notably drugs and medicines (80.9%), blood fractions including antisera (81.6%) and orthopedic appliances (67.4%).

Europe garnered the majority value in terms of exported cars (53.9% of the global total), turbo-jets (57%) and aircraft parts (54.9%).

RankExport ProductUS$Global %
1.Cars$403.8 billion53.9%
2.Medication mixes in dosage$265.8 billion80.9%
3.Processed petroleum oils$247.7 billion37.6%
4.Automobile parts/accessories$185.2 billion47.6%
5.Crude oil$143 billion17%
6.Blood fractions (including antisera)$127.6 billion81.6%
7.Gold (unwrought)$101.6 billion31.6%
8.Aircraft, spacecraft$96.8 billion82.3%
9.Petroleum gases$95.2 billion35%
10.Phone system devices including smartphones $80.6 billion14.3%
11.Turbo-jets$66.2 billion57%
12.Computers, optical readers$63.6 billion19%
13.Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays)$55.1 billion46.9%
14.Trucks$49.6 billion38%
15.Aircraft parts$48.8 billion54.9%
16.Insulated wire/cable$43.4 billion36.3%
17.Integrated circuits/microassemblies$41.8 billion6.7%
18.Taps, valves, similar appliances$40.8 billion47.3%
19.Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$40.8 billion70.7%
20.Lower-voltage switches, fuses$39.6 billion38.9%
21.Miscellaneous machinery$38.8 billion48.7%
22.Orthopedic appliances$37.3 billion67.4%
23.Miscellaneous furniture$35.9 billion42.5%
24.Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$32.3 billion51.5%
25.Liquid pumps and elevators$32.0 billion51.9%

Energy products including petroleum gases (up 119.6%), crude oil (up 26.4%) and refined petroleum oils (up 25.3%) appreciated at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

North America’s Major Exported Products

North America places high on the scorecard for exported soya beans via its 40.4% global share, second only to South America at 54.8%. About a third (32.6%) of internationally sold trucks came from North America in 2017.

In contrast, North America supplied only 18.9% of overall exported cars compared to 53.9% from Europe and 24.7% from Asia. Another notable fact is that North American providers accounted for 9.9% of globally exported mobile phones, far behind suppliers in Asia (75.3%) and Europe (14.3%).

RankExport ProductUS$Global %
1.Cars$141.7 billion18.9%
2.Crude oil$96.6 billion11.4%
3.Processed petroleum oils$91.5 billion13.9%
4.Automobile parts/accessories$82.6 billion21.2%
5.Phone system devices including smartphones$55.5 billion9.9%
6.Computers, optical readers$50.2 billion15%
7.Trucks$42.5 billion32.6%
8.Integrated circuits/microassemblies$41.2 billion6.6%
9.Gold (unwrought)$37.5 billion11.7%
10.Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays)$34.7 billion29.5%
11.Petroleum gases$32.7 billion12%
12.Medication mixes in dosage$26.2 billion8%
13.Soya beans$23.4 billion40.4%
14.Insulated wire/cable$22 billion18.4%
15.Blood fractions (including antisera)$21.2 billion13.6%
16.Diamonds (unmounted/unset)$21.1 billion16.2%
17.Turbo-jets$18.6 billion16%
18.TV receivers/monitors/projectors$18.4 billion19.9%
19.Machinery for making semi-conductors$17.7 billion23.1%
20.Computer parts, accessories$17.6 billion14.1%
21.Taps, valves, similar appliances$15.2 billion17.6%
22.Coal, solid fuels made from coal$15.1 billion14%
23.Lower-voltage switches, fuses$14.3 billion14%
24.Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$12.8 billion20.4%
25.Piston engines$12.8 billion26.9%

Fastest-growing among North America’s major exported goods are coal-related solid fuels, petroleum gases then crude oil.

South America’s Major Exported Products

South America enjoyed a majority share (55.5%) of globally exported copper in 2017. Not only do South American suppliers lead international sales of soya beans (54.8% of the global total) but also soya-bean oil-cake and other solid residues (66%).

Sugar is another export from which South America earned a significant portion (40.7%) of overall global sales for the commodity.

RankExport ProductUS$Global %
1.Crude oil$59.1 billion7%
2.Copper ores, concentrates$32.4 billion55.5%
3.Soya beans$31.8 billion54.8%
4.Iron ores, concentrates$20.9 billion22.5%
5.Gold (unwrought)$16.83 billion5.2%
6.Refined copper, unwrought alloys$16.81 billion29.2%
7.Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues$15.1 billion66%
8.Sugar (cane or beet)$12.1 billion40.7%
9.Processed petroleum oils$11.4 billion1.7%
10.Corn$8.9 billion29.6%
11.Cars$8.8 billion1.2%
12.Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)$8.7 billion29.7%
13.Coffee$7.9 billion24.4%
14.Poultry meat$7.2 billion27.7%
15.Coal, solid fuels made from coal$6.9 billion6.4%
16.Frozen beef$6.8 billion30.4%
17.Trucks$6.4 billion4.9%
18.Automobile parts/accessories$3.2 billion0.8%
19.Tractors$1.4 billion2.9%
20.Insulated wire/cable$885.1 million0.7%
21.Phone system devices $471.9 million0.1%
22.Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$236 million0.2%
23.Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$233.6 million0.3%
24.Computers, optical readers$134.9 million0.04%
25.TV receivers/monitors/projectors$44.8 million0.05%

Coal-related solid fuels were the fastest-growing among South America’s major export products. In second place were South American exported tractors which appreciated by 48.4% from 2016 to 2017, followed by copper ores and concentrates (up 35.1%) then crude oil (up 32.7%).


Africa’s Major Exported Products

Africa is the preeminent supplier of exported coco beans via a 69% share of the global total. As the table below shows, other major exports for which Africa is the dominant source are chromium ores or concentrates and cobalt.

RankExport ProductUS$Global%
1.Crude oil$115.9 billion13.7%
2.Gold (unwrought)$26.1 billion8.1%
3.Petroleum gases$24.5 billion9%
4.Processed petroleum oils$15.4 billion2.3%
5.Diamonds (unmounted/unset)$11.9 billion9.2%
6.Cars$9.1 billion1.2%
7.Platinum (unwrought)$6.6 billion24.6%
8.Cocoa beans$6.3 billion69%
9.Coal, solid fuels made from coal$6 billion5.6%
10.Insulated wire/cable$5.7 billion4.8%
11.Iron ores, concentrates$5.5 billion5.9%
12.Refined copper, unwrought alloys$5.4 billion9.3%
13.Unrefined copper$4.2 billion45.3%
14.Iron ferroalloys$4 billion15.1%
15.Manganese ores, concentrates$3.9 billion87%
16.Light vessels, fire boats, floating docks$3.4 billion10.9%
17.Trucks$3.2 billion2.4%
18.Fertilizer mixes$2.7 billion15%
19.Cashews, coconuts, Brazil nuts$2.65 billion28.4%
20.Fresh or dried citrus fruit$2.5 billion18.1%
21.Aluminum (unwrought)$2.29 billion4.4%
22.Cobalt$2.29 billion52.1%
23.Unmanufactured tobacco, tobacco waste$2.21 billion19.3%
24.Chromium ores, concentrates$2.21 billion69.5%
25.Coffee$2.19 billion6.7%

Fastest-growing among Africa’s major exported products is the light vessels, fire boats and floating docks category (up 1,882% from 2016 to 2017. Other African exports posting impressive year-over-year gains were manganese ores or concentrates (up 92.1%) then unrefined copper (up 84.6%).

Oceania’s Major Exported Products

Led by Australia and New Zealand, Oceania’s is the world leader in exported iron thanks to its 53% global share. Oceania dominates international sales of exported wool (73.9%) and sheep or goat meat (68.6%).

RankExport ProductUS$Global %
1.Iron ores, concentrates$49.3 billion53%
2.Coal, solid fuels made from coal$40.6 billion37.7%
3.Petroleum gases$24.1 billion8.9%
4.Gold (unwrought)$15.6 billion4.9%
5.Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream$5.9 billion31.2%
6.Aluminum oxide/hydroxide$5.8 billion36.6%
7.Crude oil$5.29 billion0.6%
8.Frozen beef$5.28 billion23.7%
9.Sheep or goat meat$4.9 billion68.6%
10.Wheat$4.7 billion11.9%
11.Copper ores, concentrates$4.5 billion7.6%
12.Rough wood$3.7 billion25.1%
13.Aluminum (unwrought)$3.26 billion6.2%
14.Wine $3.25 billion9.2%
15.Wool (uncarded, uncombed)$3.23 billion73.9%
16.Fresh or chilled beef$2.53 billion11.1%
17.Processed petroleum oils$2.53 billion0.4%
18.Butter, other milk fats or oils$2.45 billion24.7%
19.Dried shelled vegetables$2.27 billion18.9%
20.Refined copper, unwrought alloys$2.16 billion3.8%
21.Cheese, curd$2.1 billion6.9%
22.Other food preparations$2.06 billion5.3%
23.Medication mixes in dosage$1.8 billion0.6%
24.Flour/meal/starch/malt extract food preparations$1.64 billion7.7%
25.Barley$1.62 billion23.2%

Fastest-growing among major exports from Oceania were dried shelled vegetables up 47.1% from 2016 to 2017. Close behind were exports of barley (up 44.1%), petroleum gases (up 43.8%) then coal (up 43.4%).

Central America’s Major Exported Products

Central America is a significant exporter of nutmeg-related spices with a 43.9% share of international sales in 2017. Bananas and plantains represent another agricultural product where Central American suppliers earn a respectable portion at 21.5% of global exports, trailed by the melons, watermelons and papayas category at 10.6%.

RankExport ProductUS$Global%
1.Coffee$3 billion9.3%
2.Bananas, plantains$2.6 billion21.5%
3.Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays)$2.1 billion1.8%
4.T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$1.5 billion3.3%
5.Sugar (cane or beet)$1.5 billion5%
6.Insulated wire/cable$1.3 billion1.1%
7.Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$1.1 billion8.4%
8.Palm oil$945.2 million2.8%
9.Crustaceans (including lobsters)$773.4 million2.6%
10.Orthopedic appliances$664.6 million1.2%
11.Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$593.4 million1.1%
12.Medication mixes in dosage$879 million0.3%
13.Other food preparations$498.6 million1.3%
14.Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$474.5 million0.9%
15.Gold (unwrought)$541.4 million0.2%
16.Knit or crochet blouses, shirts$449.6 million9.2%
17.Nutmeg, mace, cardamoms$369 million43.9%
18.Frozen beef$374.2 million1.7%
19.Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$360.4 million1.1%
20.Melons, watermelons, papayas$373.4 million10.6%
21.Paper containers, cellulose wadding$341.7 million1.5%
22.Non-alcoholic drinks (not water/juice/milk)$325.2 million1.6%
23.Men's shirts (knit or crochet)$313.4 million3.7%
24.Fruit and vegetable juices$342.6 million2.2%
25.Stockings, hosiery (knit or crochet)$291.1 million2.2%

Nutmeg, mace and cardamoms was Central America’s fastest-growing category up by 58.6% in value from 2016 to 2017. Central American coffee exports appreciated 27.2% year over year, ahead of a smaller dollar value for exported orthopedic appliances which rose 25.7%.

See also Top Continents for Exported Products, Top African Export Countries, Top Central American Export Countries, Top Oceanian Export Countries, Top South American Export Countries and Major Imported Products by Continent

Research Sources:
Central Intelligence Agency, Population statistics by country. Accessed on November 28, 2018

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on November 28, 2018

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports and World Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on November 28, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, Accessed on November 28, 2018

Wikipedia, List of countries and dependencies by population. Accessed on November 28, 2018