Nicknamed “The Buckeye State” and located in the Great Lakes region within America’s midwest, Ohio shipped US$53 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a -2.6% decline from 2018 to 2019 but a 7.4% increase since 2016.
Ohio ranks among America’s 10 biggest exporters by state well behind front-runners Texas and California. The value of Ohio’s exports equals 3.2% compared to United States’ overall exported products in 2018.
Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Ohio’s exported products represent 7.8% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product ($675.9 billion in current dollars based on BEA statistics for 2018).
Given Ohio’s population of 11.689 million people, its total $53 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $4,500 for every resident in the Great Lakes region state.
Ohio’s unemployment rate was 4.1% at February 2020 down from 4.4% as of March 2019, per YCharts.
Ohio’s Top 10 Exports
The following export products represent the highest dollar value in Ohio global shipments during 2019. 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.
- Aircraft including engines, parts: US$5.9 billion (11.1% of Ohio’s total exports)
- Soya beans: $1.7 billion (3.2%)
- Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $1.6 billion (3%)
- Large automobiles (piston engine): $1.5 billion (2.8%)
- Motor vehicle body parts, accessories: $1.06 billion (2%)
- Large spark-ignition engines: $1.03 billion (1.9%)
- Small automobiles (piston engine): $864 million (1.6%)
- Digital processing units (individual components): $664 million (1.3%)
- Small portable digital computers: $658 million (1.2%)
- Cigarettes: $551 million (1%)
Ohio’s top 10 exports accounted for 29.1% of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.
Mid-sized automobiles powered by piston engine were the fastest growers among Ohio’s top 10 export categories, up by 56.8% from 2018 to 2019. In second place for improving export sales were small portable digital computers thanks to a 14.2% gain. Individual components of digital processing units shipped from Ohio posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 13.1%.
The leading decliner among Ohio top 10 export products were cigarettes due to a -26% retreat year over year.
More Key Facts
Overall, Ohio incurred a -$16 billion deficit exporting and importing products during 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 1.9% year-over-year increase from -$15.7 billion in red ink in 2018.
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 2019.
- Miscellaneous medications: $5.1 billion (7.4% of Ohio’s total imports)
- Medicines containing alkaloids: $1.17 billion (1.7%)
- Turbo-jet parts: $1.14 billion (1.6%)
- Miscellaneous motor vehicle parts: $1.1 billion (1.6%)
- Motor vehicle body parts, accessories: $950 million (1.4%)
- Miscellaneous piston engine parts: $926 million (1.3%)
- Large spark-ignition engines: $873 million (1.3%)
- Nucleic acids, salts: $784 million (1.1%)
- Pig iron (non-alloyed): $719 million (1%)
- Crude petroleum oils: $632 million (0.9%)
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 purchase over three-quarters (76.5%) worth of the total value of products exported from Ohio during 2019.
- Canada $20.5 billion (38.6% of Ohio’s total exports)
- Mexico $6.9 billion (13%)
- China $3.2 billion (6.1%)
- United Kingdom $2.2 billion (4.1%)
- Brazil $2 billion (3.8%)
- Japan $1.5 billion (2.9%)
- France $1.5 billion (2.8%)
- Germany $1.4 billion (2.7%)
- South Korea $1072 million (2%)
- Netherlands $941 million (1.8%)
Ohio’s top trade partners in North America, Canada and Mexico, account for over half (51.6%) 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
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