That dollar amount results from a 36.3% boost from $13.2 billion four years earlier in 2019.
Year over year, the overall value of Iowa’s exported goods increased by 14.4% compared to $15.76 billion for 2021.
Iowa ranks among America’s 30 most lucrative exporters by state behind front-runners including Texas, California, Louisiana, New York State and Illinois. The value of Iowa’s exports equals 0.9% of the United States’ overall exported products for 2022.
Based on research from Statista, Iowa’s exported products represent 10.2% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2022 ($177.1 billion).
Given Iowa’s population of 3.2 million people, its total $18 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $5,600 for every resident in the Hawkeye State. That dollar metric exceeds the average $4,900 per capita for 2021.
Iowa’s unemployment rate was 2.8% at the end of March 2023, up from 2.5% at February 2022 per YCharts.
Iowa’s Top 10 Exports
The following export products represent the highest dollar value in Iowa global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Iowa.
Figures are shown at the more granular six-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, for more precise product identification.
- Corn: US$1.37 billion (7.6% of Iowa’s total exports)
- Large tractors: $1.1 billion (6%)
- Soya beans: $595 million (3.3%)
- Pork (fresh/chilled): $553.4 million (3.1%)
- Solid residues including soya bean oil-cake: $455.6 million (2.5%)
- Pork (frozen): $406.5 million (2.3%)
- Brewing/distilling dregs, waste: $386.3 million (2.1%)
- Herbicides: $342.6 million (1.9%)
- Biodiesel: $312.1 million (1.7%)
- Roasted molybdenum ores, concentrates: $298.1 million (1.7%)
Iowa’s top 10 exports accounted for almost a third (32.2%) of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.
Biodiesel was the fastest grower among Iowa’s top 10 export categories, up by 149.6% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales were soya beans (up 63.4%) ahead of herbicides (up 55.3%) and large tractors (up 20.4%).
The severest decliner among Iowa’s top 10 export products was frozen pork, recording a -12.5% drop compared to 2021.
More Key Facts about Iowa’s International Trade
Iowa generated an overall $4.1 billion surplus exporting and importing products during 2022. That dollar amount reflects a -3.2% decrease from $4.24 billion in black ink for 2021.
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 Iowa’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2022.
- Semi-trailer road tractors US$613.8 million (4.4% of Iowa’s total imports)
- Aluminum alloys (unwrought): $450.6 million (3.2%)
- Rapeseed or colza oil: $397.6 million (2.9%)
- Natural gas (gaseous): $349.3 million (2.5%)
- Potassium chloride: $331.7 million (2.4%)
- Parts, accessories for cranes and derricks: $259.8 million (1.9%)
- Anhydrous ammonia: $251.5 million (1.8%)
- Piston engines: $232.5 million (1.7%)
- Unwrought aluminum (not alloyed): $191.4 million (1.4%)
- Nucleic acids, salts: $160.1 million (1.1%)
Beyond the above list of imported goods, Iowa has positive net exports in the international trade of agricultural products led by corn, pork, soya beans and large tractors. In turn, these cashflows indicate Iowa’s competitive advantages under those product categories.
Iowa’s Major Trade Partners
The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchased four-fifths (80.2%) worth of the total value of products exported from Iowa during 2022.
- Canada: US$5.2 billion (28.7% of Iowa’s total exports)
- Mexico: $3.5 billion (19.3%)
- Japan: $1.2 billion (6.6%)
- mainland China: $1.04 billion (5.8%)
- Brazil: $964.8 million (5.4%)
- Germany: $776.9 million (4.3%)
- Australia: $610.2 million (3.4%)
- Netherlands: $518.5 million (2.9%)
- South Korea: $346.1 million (1.9%)
- United Kingdom: $339.9 million (1.9%)
Iowa’s top trade partners in North America (Canada and Mexico) bought approaching half (48.1%) of the overall value of exported goods from the Hawkeye State.
In contrast, 14.3% of Iowa’s exported goods was bought by top 10 importers in Asia (Japan, mainland China and South Korea).
Another 9.1% was sent to leading importers in Europe (Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom).
Iowan Export Companies
Iowa-based corporations rank among Fortune 1000 Companies, a list that showcases America’s largest businesses. Selected examples are listed below.
- Casey’s General Stores (convenience stores, fuel)
- HNI Corp (office furniture, fireplaces)
- Principal Financial Group (investment management, insurance)
- Rockwell Collins (avionics/technology systems, services)
Shown within brackets for each company is a summary of the products or services which each business sells, some of which are significantly engaged in international trade.
Iowa’s capital is Des Moines, a city originally named Fort Des Moines.
See also Nevada’s Top 10 Exports, Idaho’s Top 10 Exports, Kentucky’s Top 10 Exports, Pennsylvania’s Top 10 Exports and Mississippi’s Top 10 Exports
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