Oregon ranks among America’s 20 biggest exporters by state well behind bigger front-runners like Texas, California, Washington state and New York.
Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Oregon’s exported products represent 10% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product ($250.5 billion in 2020).
Given Oregon’s population of 4.284 million people, its total $25 billion in 2020 exports translates to roughly $5,800 for every resident in the Pacific Northwest state.
Oregon’s unemployment rate was 6.1% at February 2021, up from 3.5% one year earlier per YCharts.
Oregon’s Top 10 Exports
The following export products represent the highest dollar value in Oregon global shipments during 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Oregon.
Figures are shown at the more granular six-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, for more precise product identification.
- Integrated circuits (processors/controllers): US$91.2 billion (36.5% of Oregon’s total exports)
- Machinery for making semi-conductors: $16.8 billion (6.7%)
- Wheat (excluding durum): $9.6 billion (3.8%)
- Potassium chloride: $778 million (3.1%)
- Machinery for making semi-conductor parts, accessories: $640 million (2.6%)
- Digital processing units (individual components): $579 million (2.3%)
- Aircraft including engines, parts: $477 million (1.9%)
- Semi-trailer truck tractors $472 million (1.9%)
- Immunological products in measured doses: $413 million (1.7%)
- Integrated circuits (excluding processors/controllers): $398 million (1.6%)
Oregon’s top 10 exports accounted for 62.1% of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.
Non-durum wheat (up 70.2%), machinery for making semi-conductors (up 53.1%), individual components of integrated circuits excluding processors and controllers (up 32.7%), processors and controllers of integrated circuits (up 29.2%) and immunological products in measured doses (up 19.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2019 to 2020.
The leading decliners among Oregon’s top 10 export products year over year were semi-trailer truck tractors (down -42.6%), aircraft including engines and other parts (down -36.7%) then individual components of digital processing units (down -35.5%).
More Key Facts
Oregon posted an overall $7.6 billion surplus exporting and importing products during 2020. That dollar amount reflects a 54.3% year-over-year expansion from $4.9 billion in black ink in 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 Oregon’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2020.
- Machinery for making semi-conductor parts, accessories: $1.3 billion (7.4% of Oregon’s total imports)
- Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $1.1 billion (6.2%)
- Integrated circuits (processors/controllers): $800 million (4.6%)
- Machinery for making semi-conductors: $795 million (4.6%)
- Large automobiles (piston engine): $742 million (4.3%)
- Potassium chloride: $524 million (3%)
- Digital processing units (individual components): $360 million (2.1%)
- Immunological products not in measured doses: $207 million (1.2%)
- Car tires (rubber, pneumatic): $152 million (0.9%)
- Oriented strand board: $144 million (0.8%)
Oregon has highly positive net exports in the international trade of integrated circuits and machinery for making semi-conductors. In turn, these cashflows indicate Oregon’s strong competitive advantages under both leading product categories which create a strong positive impact on Oregon’s global balance sheet.
The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchase about four-fifths (80.5%) worth of the total value of products exported from Oregon during 2020.
- China $9.5 billion (38.1% of Oregon’s total exports)
- Canada $2.7 billion (11%)
- Vietnam $1.42 billion (5.7%)
- South Korea $1.42 billion (5.7%)
- Japan $1.42 billion (5.7%)
- Malaysia $1.4 billion (5.6%)
- Taiwan $840 million (3.4%)
- Singapore $480 million (1.9%)
- Mexico $437 million (1.7%)
- Germany $426 million (1.7%)
Oregon’s top trade partners in Asia account for almost three-fifths (59.2%) of the overall value of exported goods from the state.
Oregon Export Companies
Just two of Oregon-headquartered corporations rank among Fortune 500 companies as of February 2020, according to the State of Oregon’s Employment Department. These two revenue leaders are Nike, an athletic footwear and apparel multi-national supplier, and automotive retailer Lithia Motors.
Wikipedia identifies other large businesses with headquarters within Oregon States. One example is the world’s largest commercial firm specializing in the design and production of thermal imaging cameras, components and imaging sensors, namely FLIR Systems which is based in Wilsonville, Oregon.
Other large companies with their head offices in Oregon include the following.
- Schnitzer Steel Industries (steel manufacturer, scrap metal recycler)
- Columbia Sportswear (outerwear, sportswear, footwear)
- NW Natural (natural gas)
Shown within brackets for each company is a summary of the international trade-related product category in which each company conducts business.
Oregon’s capital city is Salem.
See also America’s Top 20 Export States, United States Top 10 Exports and Top United States Trade Balances
Department of Numbers, Oregon GDP (dollars shown in real terms). Accessed on April 8, 2021
FlagPictures.org, Flags of US States. Accessed on April 8, 2021
Forbes 2019 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 8, 2021
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 8, 2021
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 8, 2021
State of Oregon Employment Department, Oregon’s Company Headquarters: Strong Growth and High Wages. Accessed on April 8, 2021
Wikipedia, Oregon. Accessed on April 8, 2021
Wikipedia, List of Companies based in Oregon. Accessed on April 8, 2021
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Salem’s United States. Accessed on April 8, 2021
YCharts, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Report. Accessed on April 8, 2021