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$50.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount represents a 1.6% uptick from 2016 to 2017 but a -4.9% downturn since 2014.

Ohio is America’s ninth-biggest exporter by state well behind front-runners Texas and California. The value of Ohio’s exports equals 3.2% of United States’ overall exported products for 2017.

Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Ohio’s exported products represent 8% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2016. The latter real dollar values were expressed in 2009 chained dollars, according to the BEA.

Given Ohio’s population of 11.659 million people, its total $50.1 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $4,300 for every resident in the Great Lakes region state.

Ohio’s unemployment rate was 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 2017. 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$4.8 billion (9.6% of Ohio’s total exports)
  2. Soya beans: $1.8 billion (3.6%)
  3. Large automobiles (piston engine): $1.6 billion (3.3%)
  4. Large spark-ignition engines: $1.5 billion (3%)
  5. Motor vehicle body parts, accessories: $1 billion (2.1%)
  6. Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $825 million (1.6%)
  7. Cigarettes: $583 million (1.2%)
  8. Motor vehicle transmissions: $567 million (1.1%)
  9. Miscellaneous motor vehicle parts: $497 million (1%)
  10. Miscellaneous medications: $466 million (0.9%)

Ohio’s top 10 exports accounted for 27.4% of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.

Miscellaneous medications was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 35.1% from 2016.

In second place for improving export sales was motor vehicle transmissions which rose 24.6%.

Cigarettes shipped from Ohio posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 12.5%.

The leading decliner among Ohio top 10 export products were large automobiles with piston engines which retreated -14.5% year over year.

More Key Facts

Overall, Ohio incurred a -$17.6 billion deficit exporting and importing products during 2017. That dollar amount reflects a 17.3% year-over-year increase from $15 billion in red ink in 2016.

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 2017.

  1. Miscellaneous medications: $3.4 billion (5% of Ohio’s total imports)
  2. Turbo-jet parts: $1.6 billion (2.4%)
  3. Motor vehicle body parts, accessories: $1 billion (1.5%)
  4. Nucleic acids, salts: $1 billion (1.5%)
  5. Miscellaneous motor vehicle parts: $955 million (1.4%)
  6. Medicines containing alkaloids: $939 million (1.4%)
  7. Crude petroleum oils: $893 million (1.3%)
  8. Miscellaneous piston engine parts: $888 million (1.3%)
  9. Pig iron (non-alloyed): $812 million (1.2%)
  10. Brassieres: $784 million (1.2%)

Ohio has highly positive net exports in the international trade of its exported aircraft, soya beans and large automobiles with piston engines. In turn, these cashflows indicate Ohio’s strong competitive advantages under these three product categories.


The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchase over three-quarters (77.1%) worth of the total value of products exported from Ohio during 2017.

  1. Canada $18.9 billion (37.7% of Ohio’s total exports)
  2. Mexico $6.5 billion (13%)
  3. China $3.9 billion (7.8%)
  4. United Kingdom $2.1 billion (4.2%)
  5. Brazil $1.4 billion (2.8%)
  6. Japan $1.4 billion (2.8%)
  7. Germany $1.3 billion (2.7%)
  8. France $1.2 billion (2.5%)
  9. South Korea $1.1 billion (2.2%)
  10. Netherlands $698 million (1.4%)

Ohio’s top trade partners in North America, Canada and Mexico, account for half (50.7%) 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 for 2017. 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 April 28, 2018

FlagPictures.org, Flags of US States. Accessed on April 28, 2018

Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 28, 2018

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 28, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 28, 2018

United States Census Bureau, QuickFacts: Ohio. Accessed on April 28, 2018

Wikipedia, Ohio. Accessed on April 28, 2018

Wikipedia, Category:Companies based in Ohio. Accessed on April 28, 2018

World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Columbus, United States. Accessed on April 28, 2018

YCharts, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Report. Accessed on April 28, 2018