Nicknamed “The Beaver State” and located in the Pacific Northwest region on America’s west coast, Oregon shipped US$22.3 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 1.8% uptick from 2017 to 2018 and an 11.1% improvement since 2015.
Oregon is America’s 22nd-biggest exporter by state well behind front-runners including Texas, California, New York and Washington states. The value of Oregon’s exports equals 1.3% of United States’ overall exported products for 2018.
Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Oregon’s exported products represent 9.2% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2018 ($243.1 billion in current dollars based on BEA statistics).
Given Oregon’s population of 4.191 million people, its total $22.3 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $5,300 for every resident in the Pacific Northwest state.
Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.3% at April 2019 up from 4.1% as of March 2018, per YCharts.
Oregon’s Top 10 Exports
The following export products represent the highest dollar value in Oregon global shipments during 2018. 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$43.8 billion (19.6% of Oregon’s total exports)
- Machinery for making semi-conductors: $21.5 billion (9.6%)
- Wheat (excluding durum): $10.3 billion (4.6%)
- Potassium chloride: $923 million (4.1%)
- Digital processing units (individual components): $781 million (3.5%)
- Aircraft including engines, parts: $716 million (3.2%)
- Semi-trailer truck tractors $704 million (3.2%)
- Semi-conductor machinery parts, accessories: $531 million (2.4%)
- Immunological products for retail sale: $407 million (1.8%)
- Integrated circuits (excluding processors/controllers): $379 million (1.7%)
Oregon’s top 10 exports accounted for 53.7% of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.
Semi-trailer truck tractors were the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 477% from 2017 to 2018.
In second place for improving export sales was aircraft including engines and other parts via a 52.7% increase.
Potassium chloride posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 40.9%.
The leading decliner among Oregon top 10 export products was the state’s most valuable exported good, integrated circuits other than processors and controllers, which fell in value by -26.3% year over year.
More Key Facts
Overall, Oregon posted a $2.2 billion surplus exporting and importing products during 2018. That dollar amount reflects a -38.1% year-over-year drop from $3.6 billion in black 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 Oregon’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2018.
- Integrated circuits (processors/controllers): $1.3 billion (6.3% of Oregon’s total imports)
- Small automobiles (piston engine): $1.14 billion (5.7%)
- Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $1.11 billion (5.5%)
- Machinery for making semi-conductors: $1 billion (5%)
- Semi-conductor machinery parts, accessories: $965 million (4.8%)
- Potassium chloride: $741 million (3.7%)
- Digital processing units (individual components): $719 million (3.6%)
- Semi-finished iron or steel products: $348 million (1.7%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $197 million (1%)
- Large automobiles (piston engine): $189 million (0.9%)
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 purchased almost three-quarters (74.5%) worth of the total value of products exported from Oregon during 2018.
- China $4.8 billion (21.4% of Oregon’s total exports)
- Canada $3.2 billion (14.4%)
- Japan $2.2 billion (9.8%)
- South Korea $1.7 billion (7.6%)
- Malaysia $1.5 billion (6.6%)
- Vietnam $1.1 billion (5%)
- Taiwan $852 million (3.8%)
- Singapore $578 million (2.6%)
- Germany $469 million (2.1%)
- Mexico $464 million (2.1%)
Oregon’s top trade partners in Asia account for almost three-fifths (59.3%) 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 2018, 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 June 19, 2019
FlagPictures.org, Flags of US States. Accessed on June 19, 2019
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 19, 2019
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 19, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 19, 2019
State of Oregon Employment Department, Oregon’s Company Headquarters: Strong Growth and High Wages. Accessed on April 28, 2018
United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade (State by 6-Digit HS Code). Accessed on June 19, 2019
United States Census Bureau, QuickFacts: Oregon. Accessed on June 19, 2019
Wikipedia, Oregon. Accessed on June 19, 2019
Wikipedia, List of Companies based in Oregon. Accessed on June 19, 2019
Wikipedia, List of U.S. states and territories by GDP. Accessed on June 19, 2019
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Salem’s United States. Accessed on June 19, 2019
YCharts, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Report. Accessed on June 19, 2019