Ohio’s Top 10 Exports

Ohio's state flag courtesy of FlagPictures.org

Ohio’s state flag

Nicknamed “The Buckeye State” and located in the Great Lakes region within America’s midwest, Ohio shipped US$54.3 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects an 8.4% uptick from 2017 to 2018 and a 5.9% increase since 2015.

Ohio is America’s ninth-biggest exporter by state well behind front-runners Texas and California. The value of Ohio’s exports equals 3.3% of United States’ overall exported products for 2018.

Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Ohio’s exported products represent 7.9% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2018. The latter real dollar values were expressed in 2018 ($689.1 billion in current dollars based on BEA statistics).

Given Ohio’s population of 11.689 million people, its total $54.3 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $4,600 for every resident in the Great Lakes region state.

Ohio’s unemployment rate was 4.3% at April 2019 down from 4.4% as of March 2018, per YCharts.

Ohio’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

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

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

  1. Aircraft including engines, parts: US$5.2 billion (9.5% of Ohio’s total exports)
  2. Large automobiles (piston engine): $1.61 billion (3%)
  3. Soya beans: $1.6 billion (3%)
  4. Large spark-ignition engines: $1.2 billion (2.3%)
  5. Small automobiles (piston engine): $1.12 billion (2.1%)
  6. Motor vehicle body parts, accessories: $1.12 billion (2.1%)
  7. Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $1.03 billion (1.9%)
  8. Motor vehicle transmissions: $812 million (1.5%)
  9. Tobacco cigarettes: $732 million (1.3%)
  10. Digital processing units (individual components): $585 million (1.1%)

Ohio’s top 10 exports accounted for 27.8% of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.

Individual components of digital processing units were the fastest-growing among Ohio’s top 10 export categories, up by 485% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for improving export sales were small automobiles with piston engines thanks to a 142.9% gain.

Motor vehicle transmissions shipped from Ohio posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 43.2%.

The leading decliner among Ohio top 10 export products were large spark-ignition engines which retreated -18.3% year over year.

More Key Facts

Overall, Ohio incurred a -$15.9 billion deficit exporting and importing products during 2018. That dollar amount reflects a -9% year-over-year decrease from -$17.5 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 Ohio’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2018.

  1. Miscellaneous medications: $3.6 billion (5.2% of Ohio’s total imports)
  2. Turbo-jet parts: $1.25 billion (1.8%)
  3. Medicines containing alkaloids: $1.24 billion (1.8%)
  4. Pig iron (non-alloyed): $1.19 billion (1.7%)
  5. Miscellaneous motor vehicle parts: $1.08 billion (1.5%)
  6. Motor vehicle body parts, accessories: $1.02 billion (1.4%)
  7. Nucleic acids, salts: $1.01 billion (1.4%)
  8. Miscellaneous piston engine parts: $980 million (1.4%)
  9. Crude petroleum oils: $866 million (1.2%)
  10. Medical/dental/veterinarian instruments: $839 million (1.2%)

Ohio has highly negative net exports in the international trade of its international trade in medicines, turbo-jets and pig iron. In turn, these cashflows indicate Ohio’s strong competitive disadvantages under these product categories.


The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchased over three-quarters (76.5%) worth of the total value of products exported from Ohio during 2018.

  1. Canada $21 billion (38.7% of Ohio’s total exports)
  2. Mexico $6.9 billion (12.6%)
  3. China $3.7 billion (6.7%)
  4. United Kingdom $2.2 billion (4.1%)
  5. Japan $1.7 billion (3.1%)
  6. Germany $1.6 billion (3%)
  7. Brazil $1.4 billion (2.5%)
  8. France $1.2 billion (2.2%)
  9. South Korea $972 million (1.8%)
  10. Netherlands $960 million (1.8%)

Ohio’s top trade partners in North America, Canada and Mexico, account for over half (51.3%) of the overall value of exported goods from The Buckeye State.


Ohio Export Companies

Twenty-five of Ohio-headquartered corporations rank on the Fortune 500 listing of largest American businesses. Selected examples are presented below.

  • Proctor & Gamble (consumer goods, personal care items)
  • Marathon Petroleum (oil, gas refiner)
  • American Electric Power (electricity distribution)
  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (tire manufacturer)
  • FirstEnergy Corp (electricity distribution)
  • L Brands (clothing, fashion accessories)
  • Sherwin-Williams (paints, other building materials)
  • Parker Hannifin Corporation (motion or control technologies)
  • J.M. Smucker Company (fruit jams, beverages, toppings)
  • Owens-Illinois (glass containers)

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


Ohio’s capital city is Columbus.

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

Research Sources:
Columbus Business First, 25 Ohio companies make new Fortune 500 list… . Accessed on April 28, 2018

Department of Numbers, Ohio GDP (dollars shown in real terms). Accessed on June 16, 2019

FlagPictures.org, Flags of US States. Accessed on June 16, 2019

Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 16, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 16, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 16, 2019

United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade (State by 6-Digit HS Code). Accessed on June 16, 2019

United States Census Bureau, QuickFacts: Ohio. Accessed on June 16, 2019

Wikipedia, List of U.S. states and territories by GDP. Accessed on June 16, 2019

Wikipedia, Ohio. Accessed on June 16, 2019

Wikipedia, Category:Companies based in Ohio. Accessed on June 16, 2019

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Columbus, United States. Accessed on June 16, 2019

YCharts, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Report. Accessed on June 16, 2019