New Jersey’s Top 10 Exports

New Jersey state flag courtesy of

New Jersey state flag

Nicknamed “The Garden State” and located in the Mid-Atlantic region within America’s north-east, New Jersey shipped US$35.7 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 3.4% uptick from 2017 to 2018 and an 11.2% increase since 2015.

New Jersey is America’s thirteenth-biggest exporter by state behind front-runners including Texas, California, New York and Washington states. The value of New Jersey’s exports equals 2.1% of United States’ overall exported products for 2018.

Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), New Jersey’s exported products represent 5.6% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2018 ($634.7 billion in current dollars based on BEA statistics).

Given New Jersey’s population of 8.909 million people, its total $35.7 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $4,000 for every resident in the Garden State.

New Jersey’s unemployment rate was 3.9% at April 2019 down from 4.4% as of March 2018, per YCharts.

New Jersey’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

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

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

  1. Miscellaneous petroleum oils: US$1.2 billion (3% of New Jersey’s total exports)
  2. Palladium (unwrought or in powder form): $1 billion (2.8%)
  3. Aircraft including engines, parts: $834 million (2.3%)
  4. Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $828 million (2.3%)
  5. Iron or steel scrap: $796 million (2.2%)
  6. Beauty, skin preparations: $750 million (2.1%)
  7. Jewelry articles clad in precious metal: $744 million (2.1%)
  8. Precious metals scrap: $722 million (2%)
  9. Cell phones: $706 million (2%)
  10. Medical/dental/veterinarian instruments: $661 million (1.9%)

New Jersey’s top 10 exports accounted for 23.1% of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.

Medical, dental and veterinarian instruments were the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 214.8% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for improving export sales was palladium either unwrought or in powder form thanks to a 116.1% improvement.

New Jersey’s shipments of precious metals scrap posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 106.9%.

The most severe decliner among New Jersey top 10 export products were miscellaneous petroleum oils which retreated -41.3% year over year.

More Key Facts

Overall, New Jersey incurred a -$92.3 billion deficit exporting and importing products during 2018. That dollar amount reflects an 18.1% year-over-year increase from -$78.2 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 New Jersey’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2018.

  1. Light petroleum oils: $9.54 billion (7.5% of New Jersey’s total imports)
  2. Miscellaneous medications: $9.45 billion (7.4%)
  3. Crude petroleum oils: $7.8 billion (6.1%)
  4. Miscellaneous petroleum oils: $4.1 billion (3.2%)
  5. Immunological goods for retail sale: $3.8 billion (3%)
  6. Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $2 billion (1.6%)
  7. Homone-based chemical contraceptives: $1.2 billion (1%)
  8. Large automobiles (piston engine): $1.1 billion (1%)
  9. Heterocyclics with oxygen hetero-atoms: $926 million (0.7%)
  10. Artificial joints, parts and accessories: $911 million (0.7%)

New Jersey has highly negative net exports in the international trade of petroleum oils and miscellaneous medications. In turn, these cashflows indicate New Jersey’s strong competitive disadvantages under these product categories showing the strong impact of foreign goods on New Jersey’s global balance sheet.


The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchased 60.8% worth of the total value of products exported from New Jersey during 2018.

  1. Canada $7 billion (19.8% of New Jersey’s total exports)
  2. Mexico $3 billion (8.3%)
  3. United Kingdom $2.4 billion (6.7%)
  4. China $1.57 billion (4.4%)
  5. Germany $1.52 billion (4.3%)
  6. Netherlands $1.49 billion (4.2%)
  7. Japan $1.44 billion (4%)
  8. Singapore $1.18 billion (3%)
  9. Hong Kong $1.04 billion (3%)
  10. South Korea $1.03 billion (2.9%)

New Jersey’s top trade partners {in North America, Canada and Mexico, account for over one-quarter (28.1%) of the overall value of exported goods from the Garden State. This compares with 17.5% for top import countries in Asia (China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea) and 15.2% for trade partners in Europe (United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands).


New Jersey Export Companies

Thirty of New Jersey-based corporations rank among Fortune 1000 Companies, a list that showcases America’s largest businesses. Selected examples are shown below.

  • Pinnacle Foods (frozen food, condiments, mixes, packaged meat)
  • Church & Dwight Co. (household goods)
  • Bard (medical technologies)
  • Zoetis (animal medicines, vaccinations)
  • Campbell’s (soups, juices, related products)
  • Celgene Corp (medicines for cancer, inflammatory disorders)
  • Becton Dickinson (medical devices, instrument systems, reagents)
  • Automatic Data Processing (management software, services)
  • PBF Energy (petroleum oils, lubricants, petrochemicals)
  • Honeywell International (aircraft, defense industry, computer, scanning, mobile goods)

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


New Jersey’s capital is Trenton, a city literally nicknamed “The Capital City”.

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

Research Sources:
Department of Numbers, New Jersey GDP (dollars shown in real terms). Accessed on June 17, 2019, Flags of US States. Accessed on June 17, 2019

Forbes, Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 17, 2019

GeoLounge, Fortune 1000 Companies List for 2016 , Fortune 1000 by State and Place. Accessed on June 17, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 17, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 17, 2019

United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade (State by 6-Digit HS Code). Accessed on April 28, 2018

United States Census Bureau, QuickFacts: New Jersey. Accessed on June 17, 2019

Wikipedia, List of U.S. states and territories by GDP. Accessed on June 17, 2019

Wikipedia, New Jersey. Accessed on June 17, 2019

Wikipedia, List of Companies of New Jersey. Accessed on June 17, 2019

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Trenton, United States. Accessed on June 17, 2019

YCharts, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Report. Accessed on June 17, 2019