Nicknamed “The Beaver State” and located in the Pacific Northwest region on America’s west coast, Oregon shipped US$23.5 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount represents a 5.3% uptick from 2018 to 2019 and an 8.1% increase since 2016.
Oregon ranks among America’s 20 biggest exporters by state well behind front-runners Texas, California, Washington and New York.
Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Oregon’s exported products represent 9.4% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product ($251.6 billion in 2019).
Given Oregon’s population of 4.218 million people, its total $23.5 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $5,600 for every resident in the Pacific Northwest state.
Oregon’s unemployment rate was 3.8% at February 2020 down from 4.1% as of March 2019, per YCharts.
Oregon’s Top 10 Exports
The following export products represent the highest dollar value in Oregon global shipments during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Oregon.
Figures are shown at the more granular six-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, for more precise product identification.
- Integrated circuits (processors/controllers): US$70.6 billion (30% of Oregon’s total exports)
- Machinery for making semi-conductors: $10.9 billion (4.6%)
- Digital processing units (individual components): $9 billion (3.8%)
- Potassium chloride: $838 million (3.6%)
- Semi-trailer truck tractors: $823 million (3.5%)
- Aircraft including engines, parts: $754 million (3.2%)
- Semi-conductor machinery parts, accessories: $582 million (2.5%)
- Wheat (excluding durum): $558 million (2.4%)
- Footwear removable insoles, heel cushions: $432 million (1.8%)
- Immunological products: $345 million (1.5%)
Oregon’s top 10 exports accounted for 56.9% of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.
Integrated circuit processors and controllers represent the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 61.2% from 2018. In second place for improving export sales were semi-trailer truck tractors which rose 16.7%. Individual components of digital processing units posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 14.7%.
The leading decliners among Oregon’s top 10 export products year over year were machinery for making semi-conductors (down -48.9%) and non-durum wheat (down -46.7%).
More Key Facts
Overall, Oregon posted a $4.9 billion surplus exporting and importing products during 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 110.6% year-over-year expansion from $2.3 billion in black 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 Oregon’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2019.
- Machinery for making semi-conductors: $1.7 billion (9% of Oregon’s total imports)
- Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $1.5 billion (8.3%)
- Integrated circuits (processors/controllers): $944 million (5.1%)
- Potassium chloride: $746 million (4%)
- Semi-conductor machinery parts, accessories: $725 million (3.9%)
- Large automobiles (piston engine): $409 million (2.2%)
- Small automobiles (piston engine): $363 million (1.9%)
- Semi-finished iron or steel products: $223 million (1.2%)
- Crude petroleum oils: $201 million (1.1%)
- Light petroleum oils: $154 million (0.8%)
Oregon has highly positive net exports in the international trade of integrated circuits and machinery for making semi-conductors. In turn, these cashflows indicate Oregon’s strong competitive advantages under both leading product categories which create a strong positive impact on Oregon’s global balance sheet.
The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchase over three-quarters (77.9%) worth of the total value of products exported from Oregon during 2019.
- China $7.2 billion (30.5% of Oregon’s total exports)
- Canada $3.4 billion (14.3%)
- Japan $1.6 billion (6.7%)
- Malaysia $1.35 billion (5.7%)
- South Korea $1.34 billion (5.7%)
- Vietnam $1.2 billion (5.1%)
- Taiwan $820 million (3.5%)
- Mexico $530 million (2.3%)
- Germany $503 million (2.1%)
- Singapore $472 million (2%)
Oregon’s top trade partners in Asia account for almost three-fifths (56.8%) of the overall value of exported goods from the state.
Oregon Export Companies
Just two of Oregon-headquartered corporations rank among Fortune 500 companies as of February 2019, according to the State of Oregon’s Employment Department. These two revenue leaders are Nike, an athletic footwear and apparel multi-national supplier, and automotive retailer Lithia Motors.
Wikipedia identifies other large businesses with headquarters within Oregon States. One example is the world’s largest commercial firm specializing in the design and production of thermal imaging cameras, components and imaging sensors, namely FLIR Systems which is based in Wilsonville, Oregon.
Other large companies with their head offices in Oregon include:
- Schnitzer Steel Industries (steel manufacturer, scrap metal recycler)
- Columbia Sportswear (outerwear, sportswear, footwear)
- NW Natural (natural gas)
Shown within brackets for each company is a summary of the international trade-related product category in which each company conducts business.
Oregon’s capital city is Salem.
See also America’s Top 20 Export States, United States Top 10 Exports and Top United States Trade Balances
Department of Numbers, Oregon GDP (dollars shown in real terms). Accessed on April 9, 2020
FlagPictures.org, Flags of US States. Accessed on April 9, 2020
Forbes 2018 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 9, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 9, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 9, 2020
State of Oregon Employment Department, Oregon’s Company Headquarters: Strong Growth and High Wages. Accessed on April 9, 2020
Wikipedia, Oregon. Accessed on April 9, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies based in Oregon. Accessed on April 9, 2020
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Salem’s United States. Accessed on April 9, 2020
YCharts, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Report. Accessed on April 9, 2020