That dollar amount results from a 19.9% increase from $1.16 billion four years earlier in 2018.
Year over year, revenues from Macau’s exports accelerated by 35.9% compared to $1.024 billion for 2020.
Macau is located on the western side of the Pearl River Delta across from Hong Kong–China’s other special administrative region.
Macau’s Most Valuable Trade Partners
The latest available country-specific data shows that 99.4% of products exported from Macau were bought by importers in: Hong Kong (84.8% of the global total), China (10.4%), United States (1.6%), Cambodia (0.7%), Singapore (0.5%), Germany (0.3%), United Kingdom (0.3%), Vietnam (0.2%), Japan (0.2%), Philippines (0.2%), France (also 0.2%) and Taiwan (0.1%).
From a continental perspective, 94.4% of Macau’s exports by value were delivered to fellow Asian countries while 5.2% were sold to importers in North America. Macau shipped another 0.4% worth of goods to Europe.
Tinier percentages went to Oceania (0.03%) led by Australia, Africa (0.02%, then Latin America (0.01%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
Given Macau’s population of 635,000 people, its total $1.39 billion worth of products exported during 2021 translates to roughly $2,200 for every person in China’s special administrative region. That dollar metric exceeds the average $1,500 per capita in 2020.
Macau’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Macau’s global shipments during 2021. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Macau.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: US$323.6 million (23.2% of total exports)
- Gems, precious metals: $245.3 million (17.6%)
- Clocks, watches including parts: $214.1 million (15.4%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $120.6 million (8.7%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $90.5 million (6.5%)
- Leather/animal gut articles: $62 million (4.5%)
- Perfumes, cosmetics: $53.4 million (3.8%)
- Footwear: $44.8 million (3.2%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $41.7 million (3%)
- Toys, games: $41.5 million (3%)
Macau’s top 10 exports accounted for 88.9% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Exported footwear represents the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 223.3% from 2020 to 2021.
There were two other triple-digit advances. They were for the beverages, spirits and vinegar category (up 127.2% from 2020) and knitted or crocheted clothing or accessories (up 119%).
The three decliners among Macau’s top 10 export categories were items made from leather or animal gut (down -20.2% from 2020), unknitted and non-crocheted clothing or accessories (down -3.1%), then toys or games (down -2.8%).
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, in 2021 Macau’s most valuable exported products were phone system devices including smartphones (17.3% of Macau’s global total), jewelry (17%), wrist or pocket watches with precious metal case (11.5%), unknitted and non-crocheted women’s clothing (4.3%), cases, handbags and wallets (4.1%), wrist or pocket watches without precious metal case (3.4%), beauty, makeup, and skin care preparations (3.1%), table games and bowling equipment (2.6%), wine (2.3%), and leather footwear (2.2%).
Products Generating Macau’s Best Trade Surpluses
The following type(s) of Macau’s 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.
- Woodpulp: US$1.06 million (Up by 543.9% since 2018)
Macau has positive net exports in the international trade of woodpulp. In turn, these cashflows indicate Macau’s competitive advantages under the woodpulp category.
Products Causing Macau’s Worst Trade Deficits
Macau incurred an estimated -$18 billion trade deficit in 2021, expanding by 64.3% from -$10.9 billion in red ink for 2018.
Below are exports from Macau that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on Macau’s goods trail importer spending on foreign products.
- Perfumes, cosmetics: -US$3.8 billion (Up by 41.6% since 2018)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$2.6 billion (Up by 182.2%)
- Gems, precious metals: -$1.7 billion (Up by 172.3%)
- Leather/animal gut articles: -$1.5 billion (Up by 140.7%)
- Clocks, watches including parts: -$1.3 billion (Up by 155.2%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: -$795, million (Up by 30.7%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: -$688.7 million (Up by 55.1%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$566.7 million (Up by 62.2%)
- Machinery including computers: -$509, million (Up by 7.7%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$402.5 million (Up by 32.1%)
Macau has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for perfumes and cosmetics as well as electronics.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Macau’s competitive disadvantages under the related product categories.
Macanese Export Companies
According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following companies are examples of leading export companies located in Macau.
- Black Sea PVT (LCD monitors)
- Hoplun (swimwear, underwear)
- Lee’s Handicraft Co. Ltd (baskets)
- Signal International (solar products)
- Union Technology International (recycled printer parts, supplies)
- Yiu Heng International Trading Company Ltd (stainless steel kitchenware)
In macroeconomic terms, Macau’s total exported goods represent 1.7% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2021 ($83.7 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 1.7% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2021 compares to 1.3% two years earlier in 2019. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Macau’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Macau’s average unemployment rate was 5.72% for 2021 down from the 6.354% jobless rate in 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund.
See also China’s Top 10 Exports, Hong Kong’s Top 10 Exports and Taiwan’s Top 10 Exports
Alibaba.com supplier profiles for Macau. Accessed on November 8, 2022
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on November 8, 2022
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity)
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on November 8, 2022
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on November 8, 2022
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on November 8, 2022