2022 California Exports Reach Record High

cargo containers stacked

Trade statistics released this month by the U.S. Department of Commerce show that California remained a top exporting state in 2022.

California exports reached a record high in 2022, with companies here exporting $185.55 billion worth of goods to the world. As usual, computer and electronic products made up the bulk of exports at 22.4% ($41.59 billion). Nonelectrical machinery and chemicals made up 11.7% and 9.5% of total exports, respectively.

Trade Overview

In 2022, the United States exported a record total of $2.06 trillion in goods to the world and imported $3.24 trillion, creating a goods deficit of $1.18 trillion. U.S. exports increased by 17.56% in 2022, while imports also increased by 14.65%.

U.S. exports increased across the board for the top 10 export partners. Mexico saw the largest increase in exports with an increase of 17.32% from 2021 to 2022.

U.S. imports increased from all top import partners with Canada and Mexico accounting for the largest increases of 22.34% and 18.27% from 2021 to 2022, respectively.

California’s $185.55 billion of exports in 2022 was an increase of 6.07% from the previous year’s total of $174.9 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce statistics.

For 2022, California’s import trade totaled $508.75 billion, an increase of 8.17% from the previous year.

Trading Partners

California’s top five export markets remained the same in 2022, in order: Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and South Korea.

There was some shuffling with the next five export partners to round out the top 10. Taiwan remained California’s sixth largest export partner, but the Netherlands took over the seventh place, followed by Germany, India and Hong Kong, which moved down from ninth to 10th place.

• Exports from California to Mexico totaled $30.77 billion in 2022, maintaining the country’s spot as California’s top export partner. Exports increased by 13.10% compared to 2021.

• Canada remained California’s second largest export destination with $20.1 billion in exports. Exports to Canada increased by 11.4% in 2022 compared to 2021.

• California exports to China totaled $18.15 billion in 2022, a 9.12% increase from the year before.

• Exports from California to Japan totaled $11.607 billion in 2022. Exports decreased by 1.6% between 2021 and 2022.

• South Korean imports of California goods totaled $11.58 billion in 2022, a 0.27% decrease compared to 2021.

• Taiwan remained California’s sixth largest export partner in 2022, importing $10.42 billion worth of goods, a 16.31% increase from 2021.

• Exports from California to the Netherlands totaled $6.5 billion in 2022, a 6.5% increase from 2021.

• Exports from California to Germany totaled $6.23 billion in 2022, a 17.95% decrease from 2021.

• India became California’s ninth largest export partner in 2022, with $6.04 billion worth of imports. Despite India’s rising in rank, California exports to India decreased by 9.42% between 2021 and 2022.

• California exports to Hong Kong totaled $5.55 billion in 2022, a significant decrease of 17.73% from the previous year.


California Commodities

Exports in California’s top category, computer and electronic products, increased by 4.86% to $41.59 billion. Nonelectrical machinery exports also increased by 7.69%, totaling $21.87 billion in 2022. Agricultural products and waste and scrap were the only export products in the top 10 that decreased from 2021 by 0.89% and 20.14%, respectively.

Petroleum and coal products were the export that increased the most in the top 10 products, increasing by 77.7%, from 2021 to 2022, totaling $6.06 billion.

California’s top 10 imported products all increased from the previous year, with the top three products being computer and electronic products, transportation equipment, and electrical equipment. The largest increase in the top 10 imported products was in oil and gas, with imports increasing by 45.85% from 2021 to 2022.

The only imported product in the top 10 to decrease was miscellaneous manufactured goods, which decreased by 3.34% from 2021 to 2022.

U.S. Commodities

Top exported products from the United States were made up of chemicals, transportation equipment, and computer and electronic products. Of the top 10 products, oil and gas saw the largest increase of 55.49% from 2021 to 2022.

Top imported products into the United States were made up of computers and electronic equipment, transportation equipment, and chemicals. Of the top 10 imported products, oil and gas also saw the largest increase of 49.97% from 2021 to 2022.

CalChamber Position

California is one of the 10 largest economies in the world with a gross state product of more than $3.5 trillion. International trade and investment are major parts of our economic engine that broadly benefit businesses, communities, consumers and state government.

California’s economy is diverse, and the state’s prosperity is tied to exports and imports of both goods and services by California-based companies, to exports and imports through California’s transportation gateways, and to movement of human and capital resources.

Although trade is a nationally determined policy issue, its impact on California is immense. California exports to more than 227 foreign markets. Trade offers the opportunity to expand the role of California’s exports. In its broadest terms, trade can literally feed the world and raise the living standards of those around us.

The California Chamber of Commerce supports expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad, and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.

Staff Contact: Susanne T. Stirling

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Susanne T. Stirling, senior vice president, international affairs, has headed CalChamber international activities for more than four decades. She is an appointee of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the National Export Council, and serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Policy Committee, the California International Relations Foundation, and the Chile-California Council. Originally from Denmark, she studied at the University of Copenhagen and holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of the Pacific, where she served as a regent from 2012 to 2021. She earned an M.A. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California.