Year over year, the value of globally exported magnets including electromagnets accelerated by an average 32.8% compared to $8.2 billion for 2020.
Common uses for permanent magnets are the magnetic strips on debit or credit cards, compasses, magnetic clasps on jewelry, refrigerator magnets or in devices used to pick up small items such as nails, tacks, staples and paper clips.
Unlike permanent magnets, the power of an electromagnet depends on the amount of electricity conducted. Electromagnets are manufactured in a wide range of sizes and magnetic field intensities to suit their final applications.
Electromagnets are essential components of electrical devices such as motors, generators, speakers, hard disks, scientific instruments, transformers, battery chargers and sensors.
One example of an industrial application for electromagnets is equipment used in scrap yards for picking up heavy objects made from iron or steel.
Exports by Type of Magnet
Permanent, non-electrical magnets attracted 61.5% of international sales for exported magnets including electromagnets in 2021.
Electromagnets and electromagnetic lifting heads and parts, excluding those for medical applications, generated 29.4% of overall sales.
Electromagnetic couplings, clutches and brakes accounted for the remaining 9.1% of exported magnetic revenues.
For research purposes, the 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 9505 encompassing electromagnets excluding those used for medical purposes, permanent magnets, magnetic holding devices, and electromagnetic couplings, clutches and brakes.
Key Geographic Insights about Electromagnets Exports
By value, the world’s 5 most lucrative exporters of magnets including electromagnets are mainland China, Germany, Japan, United States of America and South Korea. Together, those 5 leading suppliers accounted for well over two-thirds (69.3%) of the overall dollar spend on magnets of all types during 2021.
Among continents, electromagnets suppliers located in Asia exported the highest dollar worth of permanent magnets and electromagnets during 2021 with shipments valued at $7.4 billion or 67.4% of the worldwide total. In second place were magnets-related exporters in Europe at 26.8%, trailed by suppliers in North America at 4.9%.
Smaller percentages originated from Oceania led by New Zealand and Australia (0.4%), Latin America (0.11%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Africa (0.09%).
Top Magnets Exporters by Country
Below are the 25 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of magnets including electromagnets during 2021.
- China: US$4.4 billion (40.5% of magnets-related exports)
- Germany: $1.22 billion (11.1%)
- Japan: $1.19 billion (10.9%)
- United States: $419.7 million (3.8%)
- South Korea: $316.2 million (2.9%)
- Vietnam: $305 million (2.8%)
- Hong Kong: $285.1 million (2.6%)
- France: $273.3 million (2.5%)
- Philippines: $272.6 million (2.49%)
- Switzerland: $190.3 million (1.74%)
- Italy: $183.9 million (1.68%)
- United Kingdom: $171.5 million (1.6%)
- Netherlands: $158.5 million (1.4%)
- Malaysia: $131.2 million (1.2%)
- Taiwan: $125.4 million (1.15%)
- Thailand: $123.3 million (1.13%)
- Czech Republic: $117.3 million (1.07%)
- Mexico: $80.1 million (0.73%)
- Poland: $79.6 million (0.73%)
- Austria: $76.6 million (0.7%)
- Spain: $76.3 million (0.7%)
- New Zealand: $70.1 million (0.64%)
- Romania: $63.2 million (0.58%)
- India: $53.7 million (0.49%)
- Belgium: $46.5 million (0.43%)
By value, the listed 25 countries shipped 96.1% of globally exported magnets including electromagnets in 2021.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing magnets exporters since 2020 were: Vietnam (up 99.6%), India (up 61.8%), Philippines (up 59%) and mainland China (up 55.2%).
While there were no year-over-year decliners, the United Kingdom recorded the smallest growth via its 3% advance from 2020.
Countries Generating Greatest Surpluses from Global Magnets Trade
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for permanent magnets plus electromagnets during 2021. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported magnets and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- China: $3.5 billion (up 70.3% since 2020)
- Japan: $384.6 million (down -26.4%)
- New Zealand: $61.3 million (up 49%)
- Germany: $37.6 million (down -74.2%)
- Ireland: $12.2 million (up 149.8%)
- Israel: $12 million (up 36.2%)
- Sierra Leone: $554,000 (up 8.2%)
- Latvia: $445,000 (down -417.9%)
- Dominica: $22,000 (reversing a -$140,000)
- US Minor Outlying Is: $12,000 (up 500%)
- Anguilla: $10,000 (up 400%)
- Cocos (Keeling) Is: $4,000 (2020 data unavailable)
- Tokelau: $1,000 (2020 data unavailable)
Mainland China’s scored the highest surplus in the international trade of magnets in 2021. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms the strong Chinese competitive advantage for this specific product category.
Countries Incurring Worst Deficits from Global Magnets Trade
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for permanent magnets plus electromagnets during 2021. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported magnets purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
- United States: -US$798.5 million (up 64.4% since 2020)
- Mexico: -$406.4 million (up 38.4%)
- Thailand: -$288.6 million (up 46.5%)
- France: -$283.4 million (up 83.4%)
- Philippines: -$244.7 million (up 110.8%)
- Vietnam: -$228.9 million (down -21.5%)
- India: -$195.2 million (up 63.2%)
- Hungary: -$164.1 million (up 8.7%)
- South Korea: -$160.6 million (up 213.5%)
- Poland: -$152.9 million (up 75.9%)
- Italy: -$131.3 million (up 84.9%)
- Russia: -$112.2 million (up 19.6%)
- Czech Republic: -$94.6 million (up 8.8%)
- Brazil: -$88.1 million (up 68.1%)
- Romania: -$84.1 million (up 29.5%)
The United States of America incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of magnets during 2021. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights America’s competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for magnets-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.
Supplying Companies for Magnets
Below are 10 selected examples of suppliers of permanent magnets, electromagnets or both. They are established players engaged in the international trade of magnets.
The home country for each company’s headquarters, either the United States of America or mainland China, is shown within parenthesis.
- ALL Magnetics, Inc (United States)
- Badger Electronics (United States)
- Bazhou Dpair Hardware Equipment (China)
- Butler Winding (United States)
- Dongguan Jinbenlai Electromechanical (China)
- Henan Yuntian Crane Co. (China)
- International Magna Products (United States)
- Jiangxi Mide Industrial Co. (China)
- Temper Corporation (United States)
- Xinxiang Kehao Machinery Equipment (China)
See also Electricity Exports by Country, Top Industrial Robots Exporters, Electric Cars Exports by Country and Global Electricity Imports by Country
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