Michigan’s Top 10 Exports

Michigan's state flag courtesy of FlagPictures.org

Michigan’s flag

The hub for America’s automotive industry thanks to three major automobile businesses with headquarters within principal city Detroit’s metropolitan area, Michigan shipped US$57.9 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a -3.2% dip from 2017 to 2018 but a 7.4% increase since 2015.

Michigan is America’s seventh-biggest exporter by state behind Texas, California, New York, Washington, Louisiana then Illinois.

Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Michigan’s exported products represent 15.2% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2018 ($537.1 billion in current dollars based on BEA statistics).

Given Michigan’s population of about 10 million people during 2018, its total $57.9 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $5,800 for every resident in the Great Lakes and Midwestern state.

Michigan’s unemployment rate was 4.1% at April 1, 2019 down from 4.7% as of March 2018, per YCharts.

Michigan’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

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

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

  1. Small gas-powered trucks: $48.1 billion (8.3% of Michigan’s exports)
  2. Large automobiles (piston engine): $38.6 billion (6.7%)
  3. Motor vehicle body parts, accessories: $29.5 billion (5.1%)
  4. Motor vehicle transmissions: $25.8 billion (4.5%)
  5. Miscellaneous motor vehicle parts: $20 billion (3.4%)
  6. Large spark-ignition engines: $17.6 billion (3%)
  7. Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $16.1 billion (2.8%)
  8. Aircraft including engines, parts: $11 billion (1.9%)
  9. Vehicle rear-view mirrors: $10.4 billion (1.8%)
  10. Vehicle drive axels: $9.5 billion (1.6%)

Michigan’s top 10 exports accounted for 39.1% of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.

Large spark-ignition engines was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 28.7% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for improving export sales were mid-sized automobiles with piston engines which rose 12.2% in total value.

Michigan-made aircraft including engines and other parts posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 7.1%, trailed by the 6.3% increase for Michigan’s international trade in motor vehicle transmissions.

The biggest decliner among Michigan’s top 10 export products were miscellaneous motor vehicle parts which fell in value by -38.7% year over year.

More Key Facts

Overall, Michigan incurred an -$87 billion deficit exporting and importing products during 2018. That dollar amount reflects an 8.2% year-over-year increase from $80.4 billion 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.

In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

Below are Michigan’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2018.

  1. Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $15.8 billion (10.8% of Michigan’s imports)
  2. Large automobiles (piston engine): $15.7 billion (10.7%)
  3. Small gas-powered trucks: $12.4 billion (8.4%)
  4. Small automobiles (piston engine): $10.9 billion (7.4%)
  5. Large spark-ignition engines: $4.8 billion (3.2%)
  6. Miscellaneous motor vehicle parts: $4.6 billion (3.1%)
  7. Motor vehicle body parts, accessories: $4.5 billion (3.1%)
  8. Small diesel-powered trucks: $3.8 billion (2.6%)
  9. Motor vehicle transmissions: $2.7 billion (1.9%)
  10. Seat parts: $2.7 billion (1.8%)

Michigan has highly negative net exports in the international trade of crude oil. This showing the strong impact of foreign-supplied energy on Michigan’s global balance sheet.

Partners

The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchase 83.6% worth of the total value of products exported from Michigan during 2018.

  1. Canada $23.8 billion (41.1% of Michigan’s total exports)
  2. Mexico $12.3 billion (21.2%)
  3. China $3.6 billion (6.1%)
  4. Germany $2 billion (3.4%)
  5. Japan $1.4 billion (2.5%)
  6. South Korea $1.4 billion (2.4%)
  7. Italy $1.3 billion (2.2%)
  8. Brazil $1 billion (1.8%)
  9. United Kingdom $908 million (1.6%)
  10. Belgium $758 million (1.3%)

Michigan’s trade partners in North America, Canada and Mexico, account for well over three-fifths (62.3%) of the overall value of exported goods from the state.

Companies

Michigan’s Export Companies

Five of Michigan-headquartered corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. These are shown in the top positions listed below.

The other 5 leading companies headquartered in Michigan are leading American businesses according to the Fortune 500 ranking.

  • General Motors (automobile manufacturer)
  • Dow Chemical (diversified chemicals)
  • Ford Motor (automobile manufacturer)
  • Whirlpool (household appliances)
  • Penske Automotive (automobile parts, accessories)
  • Lear Corp (automotive seating, electrical)
  • Kellogg’s (processed foods)
  • Stryker Corporation (medical devices)
  • DTE Energy (electricity, natural gas)
  • BorgWarner (vehicle transmissions)

Shown within brackets for each company is a summary of the international trade-related product category which each company sells.



 

Michigan’s capital city is Lansing, nicknamed L-Town and the Heart of Michigan.

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

Research Sources:
Department of Numbers, Michigan GDP (dollars shown in real terms). Accessed on June 15, 2019

FlagPictures.org, Flags of US States. Accessed on June 15, 2019

Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 15, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 15, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 15, 2019

United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade (State by 6-Digit HS Code). Accessed on June 15, 2019

United States Census Bureau, QuickFacts: Tennessee. Accessed on June 15, 2019

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Michigan. Accessed on June 15, 2019

Wikipedia, Michigan. Accessed on June 15, 2019

Wikipedia, List of U.S. states and territories by GDP. Accessed on June 15, 2019

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Lansing, United States. Accessed on June 15, 2019

YCharts, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Report. Accessed on June 15, 2019