New Jersey’s biggest export in 2020 was palladium accounting for 7.1% of the state’s aggregated exports revenue. The state’s top 3 exports were palladium, rhodium and precious metal waste or scrap representing 16.6% of the total. Those percentages suggest a relatively diversified range of exported goods.
New Jersey is a top 15 American exporter by state behind front-runners including Texas, California, New York and Louisiana. The value of New Jersey’s exports equals 2.7% of United States’ overall exported products for 2020, up from 2.2% one year earlier.
Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), New Jersey’s exported products represent 6.1% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product ($619.1 billion in current dollars based on BEA statistics).
Given New Jersey’s population of 8.955 million people, its total $38 billion in 2020 exports translates to roughly $4,200 for every resident in the Garden State.
New Jersey’s unemployment rate was 7.8% at February 2021, over double the 3.7% one year earlier per YCharts.
New Jersey’s Top 10 Exports
The following export products represent the highest dollar value in New Jersey global shipments during 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from New Jersey.
Figures are shown at the more granular six-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, for more precise product identification.
- Palladium (unwrought or in powder form): US$2.7 billion (7.1% of New Jersey’s total exports)
- Rhodium (unwrought or in powder form): $2.5 billion (6.6%)
- Precious metal waste, scrap: $1.1 billion (2.9%)
- Cell phones: $927 million (2.4%)
- Platinum waste, scrap: $836 million (2.2%)
- Beauty, skin preparations: $793 million (2.1%)
- Palladium (semi-manufactured): $775 million (2%)
- Medical/dental/veterinarian instruments: $727 million (1.9%)
- Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $721 million (1.9%)
- Miscellaneous petroleum oils: $651 million (1.7%)
New Jersey’s top 10 exports accounted for almost a third (30.8%) of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.
Rhodium either unwrought or in powder form was the fastest grower among New Jersey’s top 10 export categories, up by 291.8% from 2019 to 2020. In second place for improving export sales was palladium either unwrought or in powder form thanks to its 103.6% improvement. New Jersey’s shipments of semi-manufactured palladium (up 66.7%) and precious metals scrap (up 66.5%) posted high double-digit gains.
Leading the decliners among New Jersey top 10 export products year over year were miscellaneous petroleum oils (down -34%) and mid-sized automobiles with piston engine (down -26.9%).
More Key Facts
Overall, New Jersey incurred a -$76.9 billion deficit exporting and importing products during 2020. That dollar amount reflects a -15.1% year-over-year decrease from -$90.5 billion in red ink for 2019.
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 New Jersey’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2020.
- Miscellaneous medications: $13.2 billion (11.5% of New Jersey’s total imports)
- Light petroleum oils: $4.4 billion (3.8%)
- Crude petroleum oils: $4 billion (3.5%)
- Miscellaneous petroleum oils: $2.6 billion (2.2%)
- Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $2.3 billion (2%)
- Palladium (unwrought or in powder form): $2.1 billion (1.8%)
- Rhodium (unwrought or in powder form): $1.8 billion (1.6%)
- Large automobiles (piston engine): $1.4 billion (1.2%)
- Automobiles (both spark ignition and electric motors): $1.2 billion (1.1%)
- Immunological goods for retail sale: $1 billion (0.9%)
New Jersey has highly negative net exports notably in the international trade of petroleum oils and miscellaneous medications. In turn, these cashflows indicate New Jersey’s strong competitive disadvantages under these product categories showing the strong impact of foreign goods on New Jersey’s global balance sheet.
The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchased about two-thirds (65.8%) worth of the total value of products exported from New Jersey during 2020.
- Canada $7.2 billion (19% of New Jersey’s total exports)
- United Kingdom $3.3 billion (8.6%)
- China $3.2 billion (8.5%)
- Mexico $2.8 billion (7.4%)
- Japan $2 billion (5.2%)
- Germany $1.62 billion (4.3%)
- Italy $1.59 billion (4.2%)
- South Korea $1.24 billion (3.2%)
- Netherlands $1.22 billion (3.2%)
- France $852 million (2.2%)
New Jersey’s trade partners in North America, Canada and Mexico, account for 26.4% of the overall value of exported goods from the Garden State. This compares with 34.3% for top importing countries in Europe (United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, France) and 16.9% for trade partners in Asia (China, Japan, South Korea).
New Jersey Export Companies
Thirty of New Jersey-based corporations rank among Fortune 1000 Companies, a list that showcases America’s largest businesses. Selected examples are shown below.
- Pinnacle Foods (frozen food, condiments, mixes, packaged meat)
- Church & Dwight Co. (household goods)
- Bard (medical technologies)
- Zoetis (animal medicines, vaccinations)
- Campbell’s (soups, juices, related products)
- Celgene Corp (medicines for cancer, inflammatory disorders)
- Becton Dickinson (medical devices, instrument systems, reagents)
- Automatic Data Processing (management software, services)
- PBF Energy (petroleum oils, lubricants, petrochemicals)
- Honeywell International (aircraft, defense industry, computer, scanning, mobile goods)
Shown within brackets for each company is a summary of the international trade-related products or services which each business sells.
New Jersey’s capital is Trenton, a city literally nicknamed “The Capital City”.
See also America’s Top 20 Export States, United States Top 10 Exports and Top United States Trade Balances
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