California Trade Report for May 2018

Below are highlights from the recently released trade data from the US Census Bureau and US Bureau of Economic Analysis. To view additional data and analysis related to the California economy visit our website at

Share of Goods Through US Ports
CA Share of Total Trade
Through US Ports

Total US goods trade (exports and imports) through California ports edged down to 18.40% (12 month moving average; compared to 18.44% in Apr 2018 and 18.43% in May 2017).

California remained the #1 state, ahead of Texas with 17.07% (compared to 16.99% in Apr 2018 and 16.61% in May 2017). Trade through the Atlantic port states was at 29.47% (compared to 29.44% in Apr 2018 and 29.7% in May 2017).

The state’s continued lead in this area forms the trade-related base for one of California’s largest centers of middle-class, blue-collar jobs. Transportation & Warehousing alone provided 579,800 jobs in May (up from 559,000 in May 2017), paying an average annual salary of $54.5k. This employment base in turn supports additional blue-collar and white-collar jobs in a range of other industries.

California Goods Exports Increase
Billion in Exports

Total California goods exports were up $1.7 billion from May 2017 (up 12.6%). California remained in 2nd place with 11.03% of all US goods exports (12 month moving total), behind Texas at 17.74%.

California’s Balance of Goods Trade
Billions of Goods Trade

California’s balance of goods trade through state businesses narrowed to -$22.1 billion, compared to a level of -$23.7 billion in May 2017. California trade accounted for 31% of the US trade deficit in goods in May 2018.

Top 10 Exports, May 2018
Top 10 exports by value are shown below, along with the change from May 2017.

By shipping weight (vessel and air total), the leading export was Petroleum & Coal Products at 1.1 billion kg (35% of total exports), followed by Waste And Scrap at 0.9 billion kg (29%), and Food & Kindred Products at 0.3 billion kg (9%).

Image Alt

Top 10 Export Markets, May 2018
Image Alt

Closer Look: California’s Trade With China
China and Hong Kong combined accounted for about 16% of the exports originating in the state (produced here or bundled for export here) in both 2017 and 2018 (for the 12 months ending in May in both years), while countries with which US has trade agreements (including NAFTA) accounted for about 41% in 2018, up slightly from 39% in 2017.  Overall exports to China and Hong Kong grew only 2.2% in the last 12 months, compared to 10.1% growth for all Trade Agreement Partners combined.
Image Alt
By value, Top 12 Exports to China & Hong Kong for the 12 months ending May 2018 are shown below.
Image Alt

Comments for this post are closed.