Missouri’s Top 10 Exports

Missouri state flag courtesy of FlagPictures.org

Missouri state flag

Nicknamed the “Show Me State” and “Cave State” located in America’s midwestern region, Missouri shipped US$14.5 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount represents a 2.1% uptick from 2017 to 2018 and a 6.3% increase since 2015.

Missouri is America’s 26th-biggest exporter by state behind front-runners including Texas, California, New York and Washington states. The value of Missouri’s exports equals 0.9% of United States’ overall exported products for 2018.

Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Missouri’s exported products represent 4.5% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2018 ($323.3 billion in current dollars based on BEA statistics).

Given Missouri’s population of 6.126 million people, its total $14.5 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $2,400 for every resident in the Show Me State.

Missouri’s unemployment rate was 3.6% as of March 2018 per YCharts.

Missouri’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

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

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

  1. Small gas-powered trucks: US$1.8 billion (12.6% of Missouri’s total exports)
  2. Aircraft including engines, parts: $777 million (5.4%)
  3. Motorcycles (large piston engine): $368 million (2.5%)
  4. Corn: $264 million (1.8%)
  5. Solid residues including soya bean oil-cake: $199 million (1.4%)
  6. Lead ores, concentrates: $198 million (1.4%)
  7. Refined copper: $195 million (1.3%)
  8. Miscellaneous medications: $191 million (1.3%)
  9. Veterinary vaccines: $177 million (1.2%)
  10. Bombs, mines: $163 million (1.1%)

Missouri’s top 10 exports accounted for almost a third (30%) of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.

Lead ores and concentrates were the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 28.6% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for improving export sales was corn thanks to its 6.5% appreciation.

Missouri’s shipments of motorcycles with large piston engines posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 5.1%.

The leading decliner among Missouri’s top 10 export products were bombs and mines via a -28.2% drop year over year.

More Key Facts

Overall, Missouri incurred a -$6.2 billion deficit exporting and importing products during 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 33.2% year-over-year increase from -$4.6 billion in red ink in 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 Missouri’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2018.

  1. Crude petroleum oils: $1.4 billion (6.6% of Missouri’s total imports)
  2. Alloyed aluminum (unwrought): $737 million (3.6%)
  3. Miscellaneous medications: $358 million (1.7%)
  4. Large spark-ignition engines: $357 million (1.7%)
  5. Malt beer: $325 million (1.6%)
  6. Semi-trailer truck tractors $324 million (1.6%)
  7. Single-phase AC electric motors: $318 million (1.5%)
  8. Motor vehicle body parts, accessories: $261 million (1.3%)
  9. Air or gas pumps, compressors, fans: $247 million (1.2%)
  10. Air conditioner parts: $223 million (1.1%)

Missouri has highly negative net exports in the international trade of crude petroleum oils and unwrought alloyed aluminum. In turn, these cashflows indicate Missouri’s competitive disadvantages under these product categories.


The following list shows the top 10 customers that bought four-fifths (80.1%) worth of the total value of products exported from Missouri during 2018.

  1. Canada: $5.5 billion (38.2% of Missouri’s total exports)
  2. Mexico: $2.6 billion (18%)
  3. China: $783 million (5.4%)
  4. Japan: $533 million (3.7%)
  5. Belgium: $495 million (3.4%)
  6. Germany: $437 million (3%)
  7. South Korea: $336 million (2.3%)
  8. United Kingdom: $323 million (2.2%)
  9. Australia: $314 million (2.2%)
  10. France: $245 million (1.7%)

Missouri’s top trade partners in North America (Canada and Mexico) purchased 56.2% of the overall value of exported goods from the Show Me State.


Missouri Export Companies

Twenty-five of Missouri-based corporations rank among Fortune 1000 Companies, a list that showcases America’s largest businesses. Selected examples are listed below.

  • Arch Coal (coal)
  • Caleres (footwear)
  • Olin Corp (ammunition, chemicals, copper alloys)
  • Leggett & Platt (bedding, furniture, materials, auto seating)
  • Cerner Corp (health technology devices, hardware, services)
  • Peabody Energy Corp (coal)
  • O’Reilly Automotive (automotive parts, accessories)
  • Monsanto Co. (herbicides, pesticides, biotechnology)

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


Missouri’s capital is Jefferson City, nicknamed “Jeff”.

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

Research Sources:
Department of Numbers, Missouri GDP (dollars shown in real terms). Accessed on June 19, 2019

FlagPictures.org, Flags of US States. Accessed on June 19, 2019

Forbes, 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 19, 2019

GeoLounge, Fortune 1000 Companies List for 2016 , Fortune 1000 by State and Place. Accessed on June 19, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 19, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 19, 2019

State Symbols USA, State Nicknames. Accessed on June 19, 2019

United States Census Bureau, QuickFacts: Missouri. Accessed on June 19, 2019

United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade (State by 6-Digit HS Code). Accessed on June 19, 2019

Wikipedia, Category:Companies based in Missouri. Accessed on June 19, 2019

Wikipedia, List of U.S. states and territories by GDP. Accessed on June 19, 2019

Wikipedia, Missouri. Accessed on June 19, 2019

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Jefferson City, United States. Accessed on June 19, 2019

YCharts, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Report. Accessed on June 19, 2019