Kansas’ biggest export in 2020 was aircraft including engines and other parts accounting for almost 16% of the state’s aggregated exports revenue. The state’s top 3 exports were aircraft plus engines and other parts, fresh or chilled boneless beef cuts and soya beans representing a combined 29.9% of the state’s total. Those commodities suggest a relatively diversified range of exported goods.
Kansas ranks among America’s 35 biggest exporters by state behind front- behind front-runners including Texas, California, New York and Louisiana. The value of Kansas’ exports equals 0.7% of United States’ overall exported products for 2020.
Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Kansas’ exported products represent 6% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2020 ($173.3 billion in current dollars based on BEA statistics). That percentage compares with 6.7% one year earlier.
Given Kansas’ population of 2.938 million people, its total $10.4 billion in 2020 exports translates to roughly $3,500 for every resident in the Sunflower State.
Kansas’ unemployment rate was 3.7% at March 2021, down from 12.6% in April 2020 per YCharts.
Kansas’ Top 10 Exports
The following export products represent the highest dollar value in Kansas global shipments during 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Kansas.
Figures are shown at the more granular six-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, for more precise product identification.
- Aircraft including engines, parts: US$1.6 billion (15.6% of Kansas’ total exports)
- Beef cuts (boneless, fresh/chilled): $879 million (8.4%)
- Soya beans: $611 million (5.9%)
- Wheat (excluding durum): $505 million (4.9%)
- Beef cuts (boneless, frozen): $307 million (3%)
- Corn: $283 million (2.7%)
- Grain sorghum excluding seed: $209 million (2%)
- Radio navigational apparatus: $160 million (1.5%)
- Dog and cat food for retail sale: $131 million (1.3%)
- Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $118 million (1.1%)
Kansas’ top 10 exports accounted for 46.4% of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.
Grain sorghum excluding seed was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 32.3% from 2019 to 2020. In second place for improving export sales was corn which rose 24.7%. Kansas’ shipments of soya beans posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 14%.
There were 4 decliners among Kansas’ top 10 export products year over year. Radio navigational apparatus fell in value by -33.3%, aircraft including engines and other parts dropped -28.8%, dog and cat food for retail sale declined -25.1% and non-durum wheat retreated -10.8% annually.
More Key Facts
Kansas incurred an overall -$84,000 deficit exporting and importing products during 2020. That dollar amount is an -83.4% reduction from the -$505,000 deficit 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 Kansas’ top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2020.
- Miscellaneous aircraft parts: $392 million (3.7% of Kansas’ total imports)
- Turbo-jets: $380 million (3.6%)
- Modems, similar reception/transmission devices: $375 million (3.6%)
- Radio navigational apparatus: $295 million (2.8%)
- Mechanical front-end shovel loaders: $232 million (2.2%)
- Wheat gluten: $148 million (1.4%)
- Footwear with upper soles of rubber, plastics or leather: $139 million (1.3%)
- Miscellaneous mountings, fittings: $126 million (1.2%)
- Sports footwear including basketball, tennis: $125 million (1.2%)
- Taps, valves and similar appliances: $125 million (1.2%)
Kansas has negative net exports in the international trade of aircraft parts, turbo-jets and radio navigational aids. In turn, these cashflows indicate Kansas’s competitive advantages under these product categories.
The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchased 71.1% worth of the total value of products exported from Kansas during 2020.
- Mexico: $2.1 billion (20% of Kansas’ total exports)
- Canada: $1.6 billion (15.7%)
- Japan: $911 million (8.8%)
- China: $736 million (7.1%)
- South Korea: $422 million (4.1%)
- Germany: $394 million (3.8%)
- United Kingdom: $372 million (3.6%)
- Brazil: $292 million (2.8%)
- Singapore: $278 million (2.7%)
- Taiwan: $260 million (2.5%)
Kansas’ top trade partners in North America (Canada and Mexico) bought over a third (35.7%) of the overall value of exported goods from the Sunflower State.
Kansas Export Companies
Six of Kansas-based corporations rank among Fortune 1000 Companies, a list that showcases America’s largest businesses. Selected examples are listed below.
- Ferrellgas Partners (propane)
- Westar Energy (electricity)
- YRC Worldwide (freight shipping)
- Lansing Trade Group (grains, commodities trading, ethanol)
- Seaboard Corp (agribusiness, electrical power, transportation)
- Spirit AeroSystems Holdings (aerospace/defense industry goods)
Shown within brackets for each company is a summary of the products or services which each business sells, some of which are international trade-related.
Kansas’ capital is Topeka, a city nicknamed “T-Town” and “Top City”.
See also America’s Top 20 Export States, United States Top 10 Exports and Top United States Trade Balances
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