That dollar amount reflects a -33.4% drop from $7.8 billion four years earlier in 2018.
Year over year, the overall value of North Dakota’s exports flatlined via a 0.5% gain from $5.17 billion for 2020.
Looking ahead to 2022, the value of North Dakota’s exports from January to August 2022 totaled $3.694 billion. The dollar sum of exports from North Dakota is projected to be an annualized $5.54 billion growing by 6.7% from the $5.2 billion for 2021.
North Dakota ranks among America’s 15 smallest exporters by state lagging front-runners including Texas, California, New York state and Louisiana. The value of North Dakota’s exports equals 0.3% of the United States’ overall export sales for 2021.
Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), North Dakota’s exported products represent 8.2% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2021 ($63.4 billion in current dollars based on BEA statistics). That percentage compares with 9.6% for 2020.
Given North Dakota’s population of 774,948 people, its total $5.2 billion in 2021 exports translates to roughly $6,700 for every resident in the Peace Garden State. That dollar metric is about the same as the average per capita in 2020.
North Dakota’s unemployment rate was xxx% in September 2022, down from 4.4% at March 2021 per YCharts.
North Dakota’s Top 10 Exports
The following export products represent the highest dollar value in North Dakota global shipments during 2021. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from North Dakota.
Figures are shown at the more granular six-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, for more precise product identification.
- Light petroleum oils: US$1.7 billion (32.6% of North Dakota’s exports)
- Crude petroleum oils: $692.5 million (13.3%)
- Wheat, meslin: $188.3 million (3.6%)
- Corn: $153.6 million (3%)
- Ethanol alcohol, other denatured spirits: $132.1 million (2.5%)
- Soya beans: $128 million (2.5%)
- Mechanical front-end shovel loaders: $126 million (2.4%)
- Biodiesel, petroleum mixes: $116.7 million (2.2%)
- Brewing or distilling dregs: $99.4 million (1.9%)
- Saturated acyclic hydrocarbons: $93.8 million (1.8%)
North Dakota’s top 10 exports accounted for almost two-thirds (65.9%) of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.
Posting triple-digit growth among North Dakota’s top 10 export categories were shipments of soya beans (up 285.4% from 2020), biodiesel and petroleum oil mixes (up 165.9%), then wheat and meslin (up 137.4%).
There was a pair of decliners year over year. These were export sales for crude petroleum oils (down -52.7% from 2020) and light petroleum oils (down -2.2%).
More Key Facts about North Dakota’s International Trade
North Dakota posted a $1.85 billion surplus exporting and importing products during 2021. That dollar amount reflects a -19.6% annual decline compared to $2.3 billion in black ink for 2020.
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 North Dakota’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2021.
- Platinum scrap: $208.9 million (6.2% of North Dakota’s imports)
- Colza oilseed, rapeseed (low erucic acid): $150.5 million (4.5%)
- Vehicles to transport 10 or more people: $123 million (3.7%)
- Anhydrous ammonia: $76.2 million (2.3%)
- Crude petroleum oils: $76 million (2.3%)
- Urea: $72.9 million (2.2%)
- Filtering and purifying machines for gases: $64.3 million (1.9%)
- Liquefied propane: $54.9 million (1.6%)
- Coniferous wood sawn or chipped length-wise: $51.2 million (1.5%)
- Internal combustion piston engines: $49.2 million (1.5%)
North Dakota has highly positive net exports in the international trade of petroleum oils. In turn, these cashflows indicate North Dakota’s competitive advantages under petroleum-related categories.
North Dakota’s Major Trade Partners
The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchased 95.5% worth of the total value of products exported from North Dakota during 2021.
- Canada: $4 billion (77% of North Dakota’s exports)
- Mexico: $457.3 million (8.8%)
- Germany: $82.4 million (1.6%)
- China: $65.1 million (1.3%)
- Brazil: $48.3 million (0.9%)
- Belgium: $39.8 million (0.8%)
- Japan: $38.7 million (0.7%)
- Czech Republic: $24.5 million (0.5%)
- Russia: $22.9 million (0.4%)
- Switzerland: $17.1 million (0.3%)
North Dakota’s top trade partners in North America (Canada and Mexico) bought 85.8% of the overall value of exports sold from the Peace Garden State.
North Dakotan Export Companies
Just one North Dakota-based corporation ranks among Fortune 1000 Companies, a list that showcases America’s largest businesses. Headquartered in the North Dakotan capital city of Bismarck, MDU Resources Group delivers regulated energy, construction materials plus related goods and services to its customers.
According to Zippia, below are examples of other relatively large companies based in North Dakota.
- Border States (electrical supplies, related products)
- RDO Equipment Co. (industrial machinery)
- Titan Machinery (agricultural, construction equipment)
Shown within brackets for each company is a summary of the international trade-related products or services which each business sells.
North Dakota’s capital is Bismarck, a city nicknamed after Otto von Bismarck–former chancellor of the German Empire.
See also Nevada’s Top 10 Exports, Montana’s Top 10 Exports, Wisconsin’s Top 10 Exports, Arizona’s Top 10 Exports and Maryland’s Top 10 Exports
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FlagPictures.org, Flags of US States. Accessed on October 27, 2022
Forbes, 2018 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on October 27, 2022
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International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on October 27, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on October 27, 2022
State Symbols USA, State Nicknames. Accessed on October 27, 2022
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Zippia, These are the 100 largest companies in North Dakota. Accessed on October 27, 2022