United States Top 10 Exports

United States Top 10 Exports

by Flagpictures.org

In 2018, America’s most valuable exported products were processed petroleum oils, cars, crude oil, automobile parts or accessories, integrated circuits and microassemblies, phone system devices including smartphones, electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays), petroleum gases, computers including optical readers then blood fractions including antisera. For more details on the 200 highest value exports, see the searchable data table near the bottom of this article.

Overall the United States of America shipped US$1.666 trillion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That amount reflects a 7.7% uptick from 2017 to 2018 and a 2.9% gain since 2014.

The United States shipped $823.6 billion worth of goods during the first 6 months of 2019, down -0.8% compared the same period one year earlier.

In addition, America furnished an estimated $828.4 billion worth of international services during 2018 encompassing about $808.2 billion from commercial services. The focus of this article is on exported goods.

Given America’s population of 329.3 million people, its total $1.666 trillion in 2018 revenues from exported products translates to roughly $5,100 for every resident in the United States.

United States Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups categorize the highest dollar value in American global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from the United States.

  1. Machinery including computers: US$213.1 billion (12.8% of total exports)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $189.9 billion (11.4%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: $176.1 billion (10.6%)
  4. Aircraft, spacecraft: $139.1 billion (8.4%)
  5. Vehicles: $130.6 billion (7.8%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $89.6 billion (5.4%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: $66.5 billion (4%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $63.8 billion (3.8%)
  9. Pharmaceuticals: $48.4 billion (2.9%)
  10. Organic chemicals: $40.2 billion (2.4%)

America’s top 10 exports accounted for over two-thirds (69.5%) 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 US shipment via its 36.6% value gain from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for improving export sales were organic chemicals which rose 10.7%.

America’s exported pharmaceuticals appreciated by 7.7% year over year.

Vehicles (up 0.3%) then electrical machinery and equipment (up 0.9%) posted the most modest increases.

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.


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$107.3 billion (Up by 7.1% since 2017)
  2. Oil seeds: $19.9 billion (Down by -16.6%)
  3. Cereals: $18.3 billion (Up by 13.7%)
  4. Other chemical goods: $15.1 billion (Up by 9.1%)
  5. Meat: $8.8 billion (Up by 7.4%)
  6. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $7.9 billion (Up by 19.6%)
  7. Cotton: $7.4 billion (Up by 11%)
  8. Woodpulp: $5.5 billion (Up by 1.4%)
  9. Plastics, plastic articles: $4.6 billion (Down by -34.4%)
  10. Ores, slag, ash: $3.6 billion (Up by 10.8%)

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-related products category.


Overall the US compiled a -$950.2 billion trade deficit for 2018, expanding by 10.2% from the -$862.2 billion deficit for all products one year earlier during 2017.

Below are exports from the United States that are negative net exports or product trade balance deficits for 2018. 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$191 billion (Up by 4.8% since 2017)
  2. Vehicles: -$176.1 billion (Up by 7.1%)
  3. Machinery including computers: -$173.3 billion (Up by 17.9%)
  4. Pharmaceuticals: -$68 billion (Up by 31.6%)
  5. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: -$61.3 billion (Up by 8.7%)
  6. Mineral fuels including oil: -$51.4 billion (Down by -20.8%)
  7. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$44.9 billion (Up by 4.1%)
  8. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): -$36.7 billion (Up by 3.2%)
  9. Toys, games: -$27.7 billion (Up by 7.2%)
  10. Footwear: -$26 billion (Up by 3.3%)

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, the following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from the United States during 2018. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2017.

RankUS Export Product2018 Value (US$)Change
1Processed petroleum oils$94.2 billion+21.2%
2Cars$51.4 billion-3.8%
3Crude oil$47.2 billion+108.9%
4Automobile parts/accessories$45.5 billion+0.8%
5Integrated circuits/microassemblies$37.7 billion-1.1%
6Phone system devices $32.4 billion-4.7%
7Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$28.5 billion+7.4%
8Petroleum gases$28.4 billion+26%
9Computers, optical readers$26.7 billion+5%
10Blood fractions (including antisera)$23.2 billion+14.3%
11Medication mixes in dosage$20.6 billion+3%
12Gold (unwrought)$20.3 billion+2.4%
13Diamonds (unmounted/unset)$20 billion+6.2%
14Computer parts, accessories$18.3 billion+14.1%
15Machinery for making semi-conductors$18.2 billion+3.9%
16Soya beans$17.2 billion-20.1%
17Trucks$15.5 billion-0.8%
18Corn$12.9 billion+35.2%
19Taps, valves, similar appliances$12.4 billion+6.6%
20Coal, solid fuels made from coal$12 billion+21.7%
21Hand-drawn paintings, drawings$11.2 billion+27.3%
22Lower-voltage switches, fuses$11 billion+5.6%
23Insulated wire/cable$10.3 billion+4.2%
24Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$10.3 billion+11%
25Ethylene polymers$10.1 billion+26.8%
26Orthopedic appliances$10.1 billion+6.1%
27Jewelry$9.9 billion-3.5%
28Physical/chemical analysis tools$9.2 billion+7.8%
29Turbo-jets$8.8 billion-8.3%
30Liquid pumps and elevators$8.6 billion+6.5%
31Miscellaneous nuts$7.8 billion-1.4%
32Engines (diesel)$7.7 billion+19.2%
33Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$7.6 billion+6%
34Miscellaneous machinery$7.5 billion+2.3%
35Other diagnostic/lab reagents$7.2 billion+10%
36Miscellaneous plastic items$7.2 billion+5.9%
37Air or vacuum pumps$6.9 billion-1%
38Piston engines$6.9 billion-1.5%
39Machinery parts$6.8 billion+13.9%
40Cotton (uncarded, uncombed)$6.6 billion+12.6%
41Piston engine parts$6.3 billion+1%
42Electrical converters/power units$6.3 billion+4.9%
43Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$6.1 billion+4.7%
44Other measuring/testing machines$6 billion+11.5%
45Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$6 billion+3.4%
46Aircraft parts$6 billion+6.3%
47Other food preparations$5.9 billion+5.4%
48Iron or steel scrap$5.9 billion+21.2%
49Tractors$5.8 billion+26%
50Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$5.8 billion+4.8%
51Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$5.8 billion+8.7%
52Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$5.5 billion+5.7%
53Wheat$5.4 billion-10.8%
54Petroleum oil residues$5.4 billion+33%
55Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$5.4 billion+0.3%
56Oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers$5.4 billion+10.5%
57Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$5.1 billion+14.6%
58Printing machinery$5.1 billion+0%
59Rubber tires (new)$5.1 billion+9.2%
60Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)$4.9 billion+11.9%
61Electrical machinery$4.9 billion+2.8%
62Initiators/accelerators, catalytic preps$4.9 billion+9.7%
63Unrecorded sound media$4.9 billion+12.5%
64Chemical industry products/residuals$4.9 billion+11.2%
65Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches$4.8 billion+5.7%
66Cyclic hydrocarbons$4.6 billion+10.5%
67Swine meat$4.6 billion+0.3%
68TV receivers/monitors/projectors$4.6 billion-5.1%
69Miscellaneous iron or steel items$4.4 billion+11.2%
70Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$4.3 billion+0.5%
71X-ray equipment$4.3 billion+1.6%
72Precious metal waste, scrap$4.3 billion+16.9%
73Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$4.2 billion-4.4%
74Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$4.2 billion+8.7%
75Trailers$4.1 billion+15.9%
76Uncoated kraft paper$4.1 billion+21.1%
77Bombs, grenades, ammunition$4.1 billion-0.1%
78Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues$4.1 billion+31.2%
79Electric motors, generators$4 billion-0.9%
80Temperature-change machines$4 billion+3.2%
81Vinyl chloride polymers$3.9 billion+6%
82Aluminum plates, sheets, strips$3.7 billion+5.4%
83Electric storage batteries$3.7 billion+10%
84Liquid/gas checking instruments$3.7 billion+6.8%
85Propylene/olefin polymers$3.7 billion+5.8%
86Fresh or chilled beef$3.7 billion+8.4%
87Sawn wood$3.7 billion-3.6%
88Poultry meat$3.6 billion-0.1%
89Frozen beef$3.6 billion+27.6%
90Platinum (unwrought)$3.6 billion+44.5%
91Regulate/control instruments$3.6 billion+1.2%
92Optical fiber cables, sheets, plates$3.4 billion+7%
93Other organic cleaning preparations$3.4 billion-0.2%
94Harvest/threshing machinery$3.4 billion+4.9%
95Acyclic hydrocarbons$3.4 billion+32.5%
96Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$3.4 billion+6.5%
97Ethers$3.3 billion+9.2%
98TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras$3.3 billion-8.5%
99Paper/paperboard waste, scrap$3.3 billion+3.8%
100Beet-pulp, brew/distilling waste$3.3 billion+25.1%
101Copper waste, scrap$3.2 billion+15.2%
102Miscellaneous engines, motors$3.2 billion+12%
103Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$3.1 billion+4.8%
104TV/radio/radar device parts$3.1 billion-1%
105Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$3.1 billion+13.5%
106Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$3 billion+8.1%
107Anti-knock/oxidation/gum inhibitors$3 billion+9.6%
108Miscellaneous furniture$3 billion+2.1%
109Acyclic alcohols$2.9 billion+32.2%
110Hormones, miscellaneous steroids$2.9 billion-7.5%
111Table games, bowling equipment$2.9 billion-6.1%
112Radar, radio communication items$2.8 billion+3.6%
113Base metal mountings, fittings$2.8 billion+6.9%
114Vulcanized rubber items$2.8 billion+1.3%
115Ethyl alcohol$2.8 billion+13.4%
116Self-adhesive plastic in rolls$2.8 billion-1.6%
117Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters$2.7 billion+2%
118Refrigerators, freezers$2.7 billion+1%
119Synthetic rubber$2.7 billion-0.5%
120Polyamides$2.7 billion+15%
121Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances$2.7 billion+2.1%
122Microphones/headphones/amps$2.7 billion-4.2%
123Air conditioners$2.7 billion+3.9%
124Other machine parts, accessories$2.5 billion+18.7%
125Aluminum waste, scrap$2.5 billion+10%
126Ball, roller bearings$2.4 billion+4.8%
127Rough wood$2.4 billion-0.8%
128Cellulose fiber paper$2.4 billion-0.9%
129Aircraft, spacecraft$2.3 billion-42.1%
130Electric ignition/start equipment$2.3 billion+0.3%
131Hydrocarbon derivatives$2.3 billion+13%
132Precious/semi-precious stones (unstrung)$2.3 billion+8.3%
133Fork-lift trucks$2.3 billion-0.6%
134Fertilizer mixes$2.3 billion+2.5%
135Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$2.3 billion-13.6%
136Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$2.3 billion+9.3%
137Printed books, brochures$2.3 billion-3%
138Scents used for beverage or industrial manufacturing$2.2 billion+1.6%
139Other coloring matter, luminophores$2.1 billion-1.8%
140Interchangeable hand/machine tools$2.1 billion+5.7%
141Electrical capacitators$2.1 billion+23.5%
142Whole fish (frozen)$2 billion-10.4%
143Coated paper$2 billion-8.4%
144Paper containers, cellulose wadding$2 billion+1.7%
145Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$2 billion+2.2%
146Sports equipment$2 billion-2%
147Saturated acyclic mono acids$2 billion+14.1%
148Lifting/loading machinery$1.9 billion+11.6%
149Sculptures, statues$1.9 billion+11.4%
150Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$1.9 billion+2.6%
151Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms$1.9 billion+2.1%
152Coated/laminated non-wovens$1.9 billion+2.6%
153Acrylic polymers$1.9 billion+8.9%
154Sodium/potash hydroxide, peroxide$1.9 billion+18.1%
155Sutures, special pharmaceutical goods$1.9 billion+5.8%
156Titanium$1.9 billion+5.4%
157Copper ores, concentrates$1.8 billion+5.8%
158Special purpose vehicles$1.8 billion+23.3%
159Perfumes, toilet waters$1.8 billion+1.3%
160Survey/hydro/weather instruments$1.8 billion+12.8%
161Amino-resins$1.8 billion+2.9%
162Miscellaneous preserved fruits$1.7 billion+11.2%
163Sauces, mixed condiments, seasonings$1.7 billion-0.5%
164Cutting-oil preparations, lubricants$1.7 billion+4.9%
165Rice$1.7 billion-1.8%
166Rubber/plastic article making machines$1.7 billion+3.4%
167Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$1.7 billion+0.4%
168Carbonates, percarbonates$1.7 billion+4%
169Iron or steel pipe fittings$1.7 billion+7.6%
170Yachts, other pleasure/sports vessels$1.6 billion+5.3%
171Glass mirrors$1.6 billion-0.4%
172Printed circuits$1.6 billion-8.8%
173Nitrile-function compounds$1.6 billion+71.4%
174Mechano-therapy appliances$1.6 billion+1.3%
175Refined copper, unwrought alloys$1.5 billion+65.6%
176Zinc ores, concentrates$1.5 billion+3.8%
177Prepared adhesives, glues$1.5 billion+0.8%
178Hydrogen, rare gases$1.5 billion-28.8%
179Electric water heaters, hair dryers$1.5 billion+6%
180Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream$1.5 billion+9.6%
181Aluminum (unwrought)$1.5 billion+30.1%
182Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$1.5 billion-2.2%
183Railway/tram locomotives, rolling stock$1.5 billion+12.6%
184Armored vehicles, tanks$1.5 billion-16.5%
185Cheese, curd$1.5 billion+1.2%
186Amine-function compounds$1.5 billion+21%
187Paint/varnish non-aqueous solution$1.5 billion+6%
188Wine $1.4 billion-2.3%
189Styrene polymers$1.4 billion+1.7%
190Medication mixes not in dosage$1.4 billion-12.1%
191Hair preparations$1.4 billion+4.9%
192Hay, alfalfa, clover$1.4 billion-3.7%
193Electric generating sets, converters$1.4 billion+11%
194Stone/other mineral substance items$1.4 billion+8%
195Pneumatic hand tool$1.4 billion+3.8%
196Red meat offal$1.4 billion-13%
197Electric motor parts$1.4 billion+9.1%
198Telecommunication receivers$1.4 billion-4.3%
199Fish fillets, pieces$1.4 billion+8.5%
200Move/grade/scrape/boring machinery$1.4 billion+51.1%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$1.218 trillion or almost three-quarters (73.2%) by value for all products exported from the US during 2018.

The latest available country-specific data shows that 68.3% of products exported from America were bought by importers in: Canada (18% of the global total), Mexico (15.9%), China (7.2%), Japan (4.5%), United Kingdom (4%), Germany (3.5%), South Korea (3.4%), Netherlands (2.9%), Brazil (2.4%), France (2.3%), Hong Kong (2.2%) and India (2%).

From a continental perspective, about a third (33.9%) of US exports by value for 2018 were delivered to fellow North American countries while 31.4% were sold to importers in Asia. America shipped another 21.6% worth of goods to Europe. Smaller percentages went to Latin America (9.7%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Oceania (1.8%) led by Australia and New Zealand, and Africa (1.6%).

In macroeconomic terms, United States’ total exported goods represent 8.1% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($20.494 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 8.1% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2018 compares to 9.5% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for America’s total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that the United States also provided $828.4 billion worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 4% of GDP in PPP.

Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. America’s unemployment rate was 3.7% at August 2019, same as in October 2018 as reported by Trading Economics.

See also 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:
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on September 12, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 12, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 12, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 12, 2019

Wikipedia, List of Companies of United States. Accessed on September 12, 2019

World’s Richest Countries, Targeted research > Enriching insights > Global opportunities (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 12, 2019