United States Top 10 Exports

United States Top 10 Exports

by Flagpictures.org

America shipped US$1.547 trillion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That amount represents a 6.6% uptick from 2016 to 2017 but a -2% decrease since 2013.

From January to October 2018, America’s exported goods were valued at $1.389 trillion. This 10-month metric puts U.S. exports on track for an annualized $1.667 trillion estimated for all 2018 and a 7.8% year-over-year gain.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, exported goods plus services supplied by the United States during 2017 represent 12.2% of total American economic output or Gross Domestic Product. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

Given America’s population of 326.6 million people, its total $1.547 trillion in 2017 export revenue translates to roughly $4,700 for every resident in the United States.

America’s unemployment rate was 3.7% as of October 2018 — a healthy improvement from the 4.1% jobless rate as reported by Trading Economics 12 months earlier.

United States Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in American global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from the United States.

  1. Machinery including computers: US$201.7 billion (13% of total exports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $174.2 billion (11.3%)
  3. Mineral fuels including oil: $138 billion (8.9%)
  4. Aircraft, spacecraft: $131.2 billion (8.5%)
  5. Vehicles: $130.1 billion (8.4%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $83.6 billion (5.4%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: $61.5 billion (4%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $60.4 billion (3.9%)
  9. Pharmaceuticals: $45.1 billion (2.9%)
  10. Organic chemicals: $36.2 billion (2.3%)

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of America’s Most Valuable Export Products further down near the bottom of this article.

America’s top 10 exports accounted for over two-thirds (69.2%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Among the top 10 export categories year over year, mineral fuels including oil was the fastest-growing U.S. shipment via its 47.3% value gain from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving export sales were organic chemicals which rose 6.6%.

America’s exported machinery including computers appreciated by 5.8% year over year.

There were two decliners among America’s top 10 export categories in 2017 compared to 2016: aircraft and spacecraft (down -2.7%) and pharmaceuticals (down -4.1%).


The following types of American product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Aircraft, spacecraft: US$100.3 billion (Down by -3.3% since 2016)
  2. Oil seeds: $24 billion (Down by -4.8%)
  3. Cereals: $16.2 billion (Down by -2.8%)
  4. Other chemical goods: $13.9 billion (Up by 20.9%)
  5. Meat: $8.2 billion (Up by 21.4%)
  6. Cotton: $6.7 billion (Up by 42.4%)
  7. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $6.7 billion (Down by -5.8%)
  8. Plastics, plastic articles: $6.6 billion (Down by -20%)
  9. Woodpulp: $5.6 billion (Up by 5.9%)
  10. Soaps, washing preparations, lubricants, waxes: $3.8 billion (Up by 1.7%)

United States has highly positive net exports in the international trade of aircraft launching gear and other on-deck landing equipment. In turn, these cashflows indicate America’s strong competitive advantages under the aerospace product category.


Overall the US compiled a -$862.7 billion trade deficit for 2017, expanding by 8.1% from the -$797.8 billion deficit for all products one year earlier during 2016.

As of June 2018, America’s trade deficit stood at -$438.4 billion up 6.8% compared to the first 6 months of 2017.

Below are exports from the United States that are negative net exports or product trade balance deficits for 2017. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on American goods trail U.S. importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: -US$182.5 billion (Up by 8.2% since 2016)
  2. Vehicles: -$164.5 billion (Up by 2.6%)
  3. Machinery including computers: -$147.5 billion (Up by 18.2%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: -$66.2 billion (Down by -4.7%)
  5. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: -$56.5 billion (Up by 8.3%)
  6. Pharmaceuticals: -$51.4 billion (Up by 12.8%)
  7. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$43.1 billion (Up by 0.7%)
  8. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): -$35.6 billion (Down by -1.9%)
  9. Toys, games: -$25.8 billion (Up by 6.6%)
  10. Footwear: -$25.2 billion (Up by 0.05%)

United States has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for electronics-related equipment, notably consumer electronics.

The resulting cashflow deficiency clearly exemplifies US competitive disadvantages in the international electronics market, but also represents a key opportunity for United States to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations and creative employment initiatives in the homeland.


American Export Companies

Wikipedia lists many of the larger international trade players from the United States:

  • Apple (computer hardware)
  • Exxon Mobil (oil, gas)
  • Johnson & Johnson (medical equipment, supplies)
  • Chevron Corporation (oil, gas)
  • Procter & Gamble (household, personal care items)
  • Pfizer (pharmaceuticals)
  • The Coca-Cola Company (beverages)
  • Merck & Co (pharmaceuticals)
  • Qualcomm (semiconductors)
  • Philip Morris International (tobacco)
  • Intel (semiconductors)
  • Schlumberger (oil, gas)
  • PepsiCo (beverages)
  • Cisco Systems (communications equipment)
  • Boeing (aerospace)
  • ConocoPhillips (oil, gas)
  • AbbVie (pharmaceuticals)
  • Occidental Petroleum (oil, gas)
  • Eli Lilly and Company (pharmaceuticals)


Searchable List of America’s Most Valuable Export Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, America’s top export products are refined petroleum oils followed by cars then automotive parts and accessories.

The following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from the United States during 2017. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2016.

RankUS Export Product2017 Value (US$)Change
1Processed petroleum oils$77.8 billion+25.6%
2Cars$53.6 billion-0.5%
3Automobile parts/accessories$44.9 billion+4.5%
4Integrated circuits/microassemblies$38.1 billion+9.1%
5Mobile phones, other phone system devices $34 billion+0.5%
6Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays)$26.5 billion+0.2%
7Computers, optical readers$25.3 billion+4.2%
8Petroleum gases$22.3 billion+67.8%
9Crude oil$21.8 billion+131.6%
10Soya beans$21.7 billion-5.3%
11Blood fractions (including antisera)$20.3 billion+6.4%
12Medication mixes in dosage$20.1 billion-10.7%
13Gold (unwrought)$19.8 billion+12.1%
14Diamonds (unmounted/unset)$19 billion-2.6%
15Machinery for making semi-conductors$17.6 billion+37.5%
16Computer parts, accessories$16.1 billion+0.5%
17Trucks$15.7 billion+21.9%
18Taps, valves, similar appliances$11.6 billion+4.8%
19Lower-voltage switches, fuses$10.4 billion+3.1%
20Jewelry$10.3 billion+4.9%
21Insulated wire/cable$9.9 billion+5%
22Coal, solid fuels made from coal$9.9 billion+127.3%
23Turbo-jets$9.7 billion-0.064
24Corn$9.6 billion-7%
25Orthopedic appliances$9.5 billion+1.8%
26Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$9.3 billion+5.5%
27Hand-drawn paintings, drawings$8.8 billion+6.3%
28Physical/chemical analysis tools$8.5 billion+5.1%
29Liquid pumps and elevators$8.1 billion+0.6%
30Miscellaneous nuts$7.9 billion+7.9%
31Ethylene polymers$7.7 billion+2.1%
32Miscellaneous machinery$7.3 billion+14.5%
33Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$7.2 billion-1.7%
34Air or vacuum pumps$7 billion+6.5%
35Piston engines$7 billion+10.5%
36Miscellaneous plastic items$6.8 billion+6.2%
37Other diagnostic/lab reagents$6.6 billion+6.8%
38Diesel/semi-diesel engines$6.4 billion+31.7%
39Piston engine parts$6.2 billion+4.1%
40Wheat$6.1 billion+13.7%
41Electrical converters/power units$6 billion+3%
42Machinery parts$5.9 billion-0.1%
43Cotton (uncarded, uncombed)$5.8 billion+47.2%
44Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$5.8 billion-0.2%
45Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$5.8 billion+6.1%
46Aircraft parts$5.7 billion-9.1%
47Other food preparations$5.6 billion-3.7%
48Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$5.6 billion+2.8%
49Other measuring/testing machines$5.4 billion+9.5%
50Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$5.4 billion+5.7%
51Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$5.3 billion+12.7%
52Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$5.2 billion-0.04%
53Printing machinery$5.1 billion-4.5%
54Iron or steel scrap$4.9 billion+37.3%
55Oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers$4.8 billion-9.5%
56TV receivers/monitors/projectors$4.8 billion+4.9%
57Electrical machinery$4.8 billion+11%
58Rubber tires (new)$4.7 billion+4.1%
59Tractors$4.6 billion+16.5%
60Swine meat$4.6 billion+8.3%
61Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches$4.5 billion+4.8%
62Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)$4.5 billion+8%
63Initiators/accelerators, catalytic preps$4.5 billion+11.5%
64Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$4.5 billion+26.5%
65Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$4.4 billion-3.8%
66Chemical industry products/residuals$4.4 billion+5.5%
67Unrecorded sound media$4.3 billion+9.9%
68Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$4.3 billion+5.9%
69X-ray equipment$4.2 billion+3.9%
70Bombs, grenades, ammunition$4.2 billion-2.1%
71Cyclic hydrocarbons$4.1 billion+8.2%
72Electric motors, generators$4.1 billion+1.3%
73Petroleum oil residues$4.1 billion+43.2%
74Aircraft, spacecraft$3.9 billion-45.7%
75Miscellaneous iron or steel items$3.9 billion+0.7%
76Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$3.9 billion+13.7%
77Temperature-change machines$3.8 billion-1.2%
78Sawn wood$3.8 billion+14.8%
79Precious metal waste, scrap$3.7 billion-18.6%
80Vinyl chloride polymers$3.7 billion+11.1%
81Poultry meat$3.6 billion+9.4%
82TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras$3.6 billion-1.4%
83Trailers$3.6 billion+11.6%
84Aluminum plates, sheets, strips$3.5 billion-1%
85Regulate/control instruments$3.5 billion-1.9%
86Propylene/olefin polymers$3.5 billion+12.5%
87Liquid/gas checking instruments$3.5 billion+4.4%
88Other organic cleaning preparations$3.4 billion+5.9%
89Uncoated kraft paper$3.4 billion+13.3%
90Fresh or chilled beef$3.4 billion+26.1%
91Electric storage batteries$3.4 billion+7.1%
92Optical fiber cables, sheets, plates$3.2 billion+13.8%
93Harvest/threshing machinery$3.2 billion+11.6%
94Paper/paperboard waste, scrap$3.2 billion+1.4%
95Hormones, miscellaneous steroids$3.2 billion-3.4%
96Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$3.2 billion+0.8%
97Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues$3.1 billion-5%
98TV/radio/radar device parts$3.1 billion+6.5%
99Table games, bowling equipment$3.1 billion+20.5%
100Ethers$3 billion+12.6%
101Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$3 billion+4.7%
102Miscellaneous furniture$2.9 billion+1.3%
103Self-adhesive plastic in rolls$2.8 billion+7%
104Frozen beef$2.8 billion+9.9%
105Miscellaneous engines, motors$2.8 billion-1.1%
106Microphones/headphones/amps$2.8 billion+9.5%
107Vulcanized rubber items$2.8 billion+6.5%
108Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$2.8 billion+1.6%
109Anti-knock/oxidation/gum inhibitors$2.8 billion+6.2%
110Copper waste, scrap$2.8 billion+23.5%
111Radar, radio communication items$2.7 billion+19.3%
112Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$2.7 billion+4.3%
113Synthetic rubber$2.7 billion+10.9%
114Refrigerators, freezers$2.7 billion-0.002
115Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters$2.7 billion+5.7%
116Base metal mountings, fittings$2.6 billion+4.6%
117Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$2.6 billion-4.4%
118Beet-pulp, brew/distilling waste$2.6 billion-9.2%
119Spraying mechanical appliances$2.6 billion-0.018
120Air conditioners$2.6 billion-6.5%
121Ethyl alcohol$2.5 billion+16.3%
122Platinum (unwrought)$2.4 billion+61%
123Acyclic hydrocarbons$2.4 billion+26.6%
124Rough wood$2.4 billion+14.7%
125Cellulose fiber paper$2.4 billion+4.4%
126Polyamides$2.3 billion+6.6%
127Printed books, brochures$2.3 billion-1.3%
128Fork-lift trucks$2.3 billion+13.8%
129Ball, roller bearings$2.3 billion+6.1%
130Electric ignition/start equipment$2.3 billion+0.8%
131Fertilizer mixes$2.3 billion+0.4%
132Whole fish (frozen)$2.3 billion+25.3%
133Acyclic alcohols$2.3 billion0.213
134Aluminum waste, scrap$2.2 billion+24.0%
135Coated paper$2.2 billion+5.4%
136Other coloring matter, luminophores$2.1 billion+10.9%
137Hydrogen, rare gases$2.1 billion-4.1%
138Precious/semi-precious stones (unstrung)$2.1 billion+36.3%
139Scents used for beverage or industrial manufacturing$2.1 billion+6.7%
140Machine tools parts, accessories$2.1 billion+3%
141Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$2.1 billion+12.2%
142Hydrocarbon derivatives$2 billion+23%
143Sports equipment$2 billion+3.6%
144Paper containers, cellulose wadding$2 billion+2.4%
145Interchangeable hand/machine tools$2 billion+1.2%
146Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$1.9 billion-1.8%
147Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms$1.9 billion0.016
148Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$1.9 billion-2.8%
149Coated/laminated non-wovens$1.9 billion+7.4%
150Sutures, special pharmaceutical goods$1.8 billion+8.8%
151#N/A$1.8 billion+8.3%
152Armored vehicles, tanks$1.8 billion+2.2%
153Rice$1.8 billion-2.7%
154Perfumes, toilet waters$1.8 billion+3.4%
155Printed circuits$1.8 billion-5.6%
156Lifting/loading machinery$1.7 billion-7%
157Acrylic polymers$1.7 billion+5.2%
158Sculptures, statues$1.7 billion-1.9%
159Sauces, preparations$1.7 billion+3.3%
160Copper ores, concentrates$1.7 billion-28.9%
161Saturated acyclic mono acids$1.7 billion+5%
162Amino-resins$1.7 billion+6.6%
163Electrical capacitators$1.7 billion+17.4%
164Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$1.7 billion+2.9%
165Lubricant preparations$1.6 billion+4%
166Rubber/plastic article making machines$1.6 billion-0.5%
167Glass mirrors$1.6 billion+9.1%
168Medication mixes not in dosage$1.6 billion+3.5%
169Carbonates, percarbonates$1.6 billion+7.5%
170Sodium/potash hydroxide, peroxide$1.6 billion+66.4%
171Red meat offal$1.6 billion+4.1%
172Surveying equipment$1.6 billion+6%
173Miscellaneous preserved fruits$1.6 billion+0.3%
174Iron or steel pipe fittings$1.5 billion+8.7%
175Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$1.5 billion+17.8%
176Mechano-therapy appliances$1.5 billion+4.5%
177Yachts, other pleasure/sports vessels$1.5 billion+15.9%
178Prepared glues, adhesives$1.5 billion+7.1%
179Bovine/equine rawhides, skins$1.5 billion+3.5%
180Wine$1.5 billion-5.5%
181Zinc ores, concentrates$1.5 billion+51.3%
182Special purpose vehicles$1.5 billion-11%
183Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$1.5 billion+21.1%
184Hay, alfalfa, clover$1.5 billion+2.2%
185Cheese, curd$1.5 billion+20.4%
186Telecommunication receivers$1.4 billion+8.3%
187Styrene polymers$1.4 billion+9.2%
188Electric water heaters, hair dryers$1.4 billion+7.5%
189Flat-rolled stainless steel items$1.4 billion+32.6%
190Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream$1.4 billion+6.2%
191Paint/varnish non-aqueous solution$1.4 billion+0.5%
192Flat-rolled iron/non-alloy steel goods (plated/coated)$1.4 billion+15.3%
193Flat-rolled iron/non-alloy steel goods (non-stainless)$1.4 billion+15.1%
194Hair preparations$1.3 billion+0.4%
195Railway/streetcar miscellaneous parts$1.3 billion-15.5%
196Pneumatic hand tool$1.3 billion-0.2%
197Silicones$1.3 billion+7.7%
198Solid-form sugars, fructose, glucose, lactose$1.3 billion+5.8%
199Miscellaneous aluminum items$1.3 billion-5.1%
200Electric generating sets, converters$1.3 billion-35%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$1.125 trillion or almost three-quarters (72.8%) by value for all products exported from the US during 2017.

See also America’s Exported Services, United States Top 10 Imports, America’s Top Trading Partners, Top United States Trade Balances and America’s Top 20 Export States and United States Top 10 Major Export Companies

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on July 30, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on July 30, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on December 30, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 30, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of United States. Accessed on July 30, 2018