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Mapped: The Top Export in Every Country

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Mapped: The Top Export in Every Country

Mapped: The Top Export in Every Country

View the high resolution of this infographic by clicking here.

Today, exports make up roughly 25% of total global production.

One of the common influences on these exports, unsurprisingly, is oil. In fact, petroleum is the top export across over 50 nations, and along with many other resource-driven materials makes up a sizable share of the global export market. Since 2000, the total value of all exported global trade of goods and services has tripled to $19.5 trillion.

This infographic from HowMuch.net shows the top export in every country by value, according to the most recent global data from 2018.

Top Exports, by Region

Let’s dive into some particular regions, to see how top exports can vary:

Editor’s note: for even larger versions of each regional infographic below, visit HowMuch.net. All export data is from 2018 and comes from CEPII, a leading French center of economic analysis.

North America

Top exports North America

In the U.S. petroleum outpaces all other exports, with crude oil accounting for 35% of total petroleum exports. Canada too, lists petroleum at the top.

CountryTop Export
CanadaPetroleum
GreenlandFish
MexicoCars
Saint Pierre and QuelonCrustaceans
U.S.Petroleum

With a market valued at $50.7 billion, Mexico’s top export is cars—making it the fourth largest exporter worldwide.

Africa

Top exports Africa

From Egypt to Senegal, Africa has a diverse spectrum of exports. Primarily, these are resource-driven, with the top five exports being petroleum, gold, diamonds, natural gas, and coal.

CountryTop Export
AlgeriaPetroleum
AngolaPetroleum
BeninCotton
Burkina FasoGold
BurundiGold
Cabo VerdeFish
CameroonPetroleum
Central African RepublicWood
ChadPetroleum
ComorosCloves
CongoPetroleum
Cote D'IvoireCocoa Beans
DijiboutiSheep and goats
DR CongoCopper
EgyptPetroleum
EritreaZinc
EthiopiaCoffee
GambiaNuts
GhanaGold
GuineaGold
Guinea-BissauNuts
Kenya Tea
LiberiaGold
LibyaPetroleum
MadagascarVanilla
MalawiTobacco
MaliGold
MauritaniaIron
MauritusFish
MoroccoCars
MozambiqueCloves
NigerGold
NigeriaPetroleum
RwandaGold
SenegalGold
SeychellesFish
Sierra Leone Titanium
SomaliaSheep and goats
South African Customs UnionGold
South SudanPetroleum
St. Helena Blood
SudanPetroleum
TanzanaGold
Togo Petroleum
TunisiaWires
UgandaGold
ZambiaCopper
ZimbabweGold

Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s top export is coffee, shipping nearly $1 billion alone in 2018. Similarly, off the east coast, Madagascar is the world’s largest producer of vanilla.

Asia

Top Exports Asia

While petroleum is also a dominant export across many countries in Asia, the region’s export landscape is a lot more tech-focused.

In South Korea, electronic circuits are the largest export. Samsung, headquartered in Seoul, is a major supplier to Apple for multiple electronic components. With one of the highest export ratios in Asia, 40% of South Korea’s economic output is derived from its export market.

Here are the top exports across other Asian countries.

CountryTop Export
AfghanistanGrapes
ArmeniaCopper
AzerbaijanPetroleum
BahrainPetroleum
BangladeshSuits
BhutanFerro-alloys
Br. Indian Ocean Terr.Fish
Brunei DarussalamPetroleum
CambodiaJerseys
ChinaTransmission apparatus
DPR KoreaWatches
GeorgiaCopper
Hong Kong SARGold
IndonesiaCoals
IranPetroleum
IraqPetroleum
IsraelDiamonds
JapanCars
JordanFertilizers
KazakhstanPetroleum
KuwaitPetroleum
KyrgyzstanGold
LaosElectrical energy
LebanonGold
Macao SARWatches
MalaysiaElectronic circuits
MaldivesFish
MongoliaCoals
MyanmarPetroleum
NepalYarn
OmanPetroleum
PakistanBed linen
PhilippinesElectronic circuits
QatarPetroleum
Saudi ArabiaPetroleum
SingaporeElectronic circuits
South KoreaElectronic circuits
Sri LankaTea
State of PalestineStones
SyriaOlive oil
TajikistanGold
ThailandMachinery
TurkmenistanPetroleum
TurkeyCars
UAEPetroleum
UzbekistanGold
VietnamTransmission apparatus
YemenPetroleum

In Afghanistan, grapes are the top export, valued at $237 million. Almost one-fifth of Afghanistan’s exports come from the grape industry.

Europe

top exports europe

Across the European continent, the automotive industry stands out as a primary driver of exports, with 14 countries having cars or vehicles as their most exported good.

In fact, in 2019, the European Union exported a total of 5.6 million motor vehicles. Of these, 28% were shipped to the U.S. and 16.5% to China.

CountryTop Export
AlbaniaFootwear
AndorraElectronic circults
AustriaCars
BelarusPetroleum
BelgiumCars
Bosnia HerzegovinaElectrical energy
BulgariaPetroleum
CroatiaPetroleum
CyprusPetroleum
Czech RepublicCars
DenmarkDrugs
EstoniaTransmission apparatus
FinlandPetroleum
FranceAirplanes
GermanyCars
Gibraltar Petroleum
GreecePetroleum
HungaryCars
IcelandAluminium
IrelandBlood
ItalyDrugs
LatviaWood
LithuaniaPetroleum
LuxembourgCars
MaltaPetroleum
MoldovaWires
MontenegroAluminium
NetherlandsPetroleum
NorwayPetroleum
PolandVehicles
PortugalCars
RomaniaVehicles
RussiaPetroleum
San MarinoMachines
SerbiaWires
SlovakiaCars
SloveniaCars
SpainCars
SwedenCars
SwitzerlandGold
TFYR of MacedoniaReaction initiators
U.K.Cars
UkraineSun-Flower Seed

The Balkan nation of Albania has footwear as its top export. Overall, nearly 80% of the nation’s GDP relies on goods and services exports.

France, on the other hand, has airplanes as its highest export while Italy and Denmark’s highest are drugs. Italy is the top producer of pharmaceuticals in Europe, an industry which employs 66,500 across the country. Globally, it makes up 2.8% of pharmaceutical sales.

Due to its cheap electricity prices, companies have flocked to Iceland to produce aluminum. Iceland’s dams, which generate power from glacial water, produce electricity as much as 30% cheaper than in America.

Latin America & the Caribbean Islands

top export latin america

Like other regions, petroleum stands out as a key export in countries across Latin America.

Take Venezuela. With the largest oil reserves in the world, its oil exports were valued at $90 billion annually ten years ago. Since the pandemic, however, earnings are projected to reach just a fraction of this total—only $2.3 billion this year.

Along with this, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on president Nicolás Maduro and Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA, causing oil exports to slump to their lowest point in nearly 80 years.

CountryTop Export
AnguillaEthyl alcohol
Antigua and BarbudaCruise ships
ArgentinaOil
ArubaAirplanes
BahamasCruise ships
BarbadosEthyl alcohol
BelizeCane sugar
BoliviaPetroleum
BonairePetroleum
BrazilSoya beans
British Virgin IslandsYachts
Cayman IslandsYachts
ChileCopper
ColombiaPetroleum
Costa RicaMedical instruments
CubaCigars
CuracaoPetroleum
DominicaMedical instruments
Dominican RepublicGold
EcuadorPetroleum
El SalvadorT-shirts
Falkland Is. (Malvinas)Molluscs
GrenadaNutmeg
GuatemalaBananas
GuyanaGold
HaitiT-shirts
HondurasT-shirts
JamaicaAluminium
MontserratSand
Neth. AntillesCars
NicaraguaT-shirts
PanamaPetroleum
ParaguaySoya beans
PeruCopper
Saint BarthelemyCosmetics
Saint Kitts and NevisTransmission apparatus
Saint LuciaPetroleum
Saint MaartenJewellery
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Petroleum
SurinameGold
Trinidad and TobagoPetroleum
Turks and Caicos Is.Petroleum
UruguayWood pulp
VenezuelaPetroleum

For Caribbean nations, unsurprisingly, many top exports in this region are linked to tourism.

Cruise ships stood out as a primary export in the Bahamas, while yachts were most significant in the Cayman Islands. However, due to the pandemic, many of these national economies are at heightened risk, with some economies across the region projected to contract 10% in 2020.

Oceania

Top Exports Australia

Finally, in Oceania, Australia had coal as it’s top export in 2018 (though it has since switched to iron ore in 2019), while New Zealand sends milk abroad.

For many of the smaller islands throughout the Pacific, it can be seen that fish, cruise ships, water, and yachts are key exports.

The Future of Trade

Now, COVID-19 and a host of other factors are changing the way the world trades. Unexpected shocks, trade wars, the carbon footprint, and labor standards are influencing firms to build more resilient supply chains.

According to The Economist, it’s estimated that over the next five years that 16-26% of exported goods production could shift locations.

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Markets

5 Undeniable Long-Term Trends Shaping Society’s Future

We can’t predict the future, but we can prepare for it. Here’s a look at 5 long-term trends that are set to transform society as we know it.

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5 long-term forces changing society

We’re living in a world of rapid change, where disruption is the norm and innovation is the only way to stay relevant.

The dynamic nature of society makes it difficult to decipher. However, despite the world’s complexity, there are some long-term trends that have emerged among the chaos. These help us make sense of the world today, and can give us an idea of what to expect in years ahead.

Here’s a look at five long-term trends that are set to transform society as we know it.

The following article uses charts and data from our new book Signals (hardcover, ebook) which covers the 27 macro trends transforming the global economy and markets. In some cases, where appropriate, we’ve added in the most recent projections and data.

#1: Aging World

With every successive year, our global population is skewing older.

Since 1970, our worldwide median age has grown by almost a decade. By 2100, it’s projected to increase by another 10 years.

global median age chart in the signals book

Of course, not all countries are aging at the same rate.

Using data from the UN, the graph below covers the old-age dependency ratios (OADR) of different regions, showing the proportion of working-age citizens versus the percentage of older people, who are less likely to remain in the workforce.

old age dependency ratios chart from the signals book

What’s the economic impact of an aging population? Some potential risks include rising healthcare costs, a shrinking workforce, and even economic slowdowns.

To mitigate some of these risks, it’s crucial that countries build solid pension systems to support their aging citizens. Other potential solutions include increasing the age of retirement, enforcing mandatory retirement plans, and limiting early access to benefits.

Aging populations are also influencing the make-up of households in many countries. In the U.S., the share of multigenerational family households has been rising steadily since the 1970s.

multigenerational households in the us

At a societal level, people in the oldest age groups often play a different role in society than working age people. Many seniors engage in volunteerism and play a pivotal role in childcare for their families–activities that fall outside traditional measures of economic activity.

#2: Urban Evolution

Another macro trend that’s set to transform many regions of the world is rapid urbanization.

Currently, more than half of the global population lives in urban areas, and this influx of city-dwellers is expected to grow even more in the years ahead.

urban vs rural global population

While urbanization may seem like an long-established phenomenon, it’s actually a relatively new trend, historically speaking.

Throughout human history, populations have typically lived in small villages. All the way up to the early 1800s, close to 90% of the global population still lived in rural areas. Urbanization didn’t take off on a widespread scale until the 20th century.

But once urban migration started, it snowballed, and since then it’s shown no signs of slowing down. By 2050, over two-thirds of the global population is expected to live in urban settings.

The Rise of Megacities

Even in developing countries, urban life is becoming the norm – a shift that is causing a boom in megacity growth.

urban growth in developing countries

The median population size of the world’s top 100 cities has been growing steadily too – from eight million in 2000 to a projected 12 million in 2035.

Why is this happening? People tend to migrate to urban areas for socioeconomic reasons, and these economic pull-factors are particular strong in the developing world. Over time, this migration and increase in the standard of living is lifting millions of people out of poverty. This brings us to our third trend.

If you like this post, find hundreds of charts
like this in our new book “Signals”:


Signals: Book

#3: Rising Middle Class

While poverty is far from eradicated, the global middle class is growing, and fewer people are living in extreme poverty than ever before.

rising global middle class

As the above graph shows, there was an overall increase in daily income from 1971 to 1995. By 2019, income levels had increased even further.

According to Brookings, an average of five people are entering the global middle class per second, and by 2030, the worldwide middle class population is expected to reach 5.3 billion.

global population by wealth category

As the global middle class grows, so does the market for products and services around the world. And as the middle class has more disposable income to spend, these developing markets can create new opportunities for companies and investors alike.

In fact, according to MSCI, although global equity markets are dominated by North American companies (61.5%) in terms of market capitalization, the vast majority of revenues (70.1%) come from outside North America. As the rest of the developing world gets richer, this trend is likely to accelerate.

#4: Rising Wealth inequality

People in lower-income economies aren’t the only people generating more wealth—the richer are also increasing their net worth. By a lot.

Over the last few decades, the wealth of America’s top 10% has increased by billions of dollars, while the middle and bottom wealth groups have stayed relatively stagnant.

share of total wealth by wealth group

What’s driving this wealth inequality? One key factor is the different types of assets each wealth group owns. While the top 10% invest heavily in the stock market, other wealth groups rely on real estate as their main form of investment.

assets vs historical performance

Historically, equities have had higher returns than real estate—making the rich richer and leaving the bottom 90% behind.

#5: Environmental Pressures

So far, we’ve touched on four demographic shifts that are transforming society as we know it. But these changes in our global population size, wealth, and consumption habits have had far-reaching consequences. This last trend touches on one of those consequences—increased environmental pressure.

Since the year 1850, the global average temperature of land areas has risen twice as fast as the global average.

global surface temperatures

Various factors have contributed to increasing temperatures, but one major source stems from human-produced greenhouse gas emissions.

What human activities contribute to global emissions the most? The biggest culprit is industrial activity—32% of total emissions, while energy use in buildings comes in second at 17%.

Our Warmer World

Why is this significant? Rising temperatures pose a risk to our ecosystems and livelihood by changing weather patterns and putting the global food supply at risk.

climate change and extreme weather events

The past half-decade is likely to become the warmest five-year stretch in recorded history, underscoring the rapid pace of climate change. On a global scale, even a small increase in temperature can have a big impact on climate and our ecosystems.

For example, air can hold approximately 7% more moisture for every 1ºC increase, leading to an uptick in extreme rainfall events. These events can trigger landslides, increase the rate of soil erosion, and damage crops – just one example of how climate change can cause a chain reaction.

For the billions of people who live in “drylands”, climate change is serving up a completely different scenario of increased intensity and duration of drought. This is particularly worrisome as 90% of people in these arid or semiarid regions live in developing economies that are still very reliant on agriculture.

As a society, we will need to take a hard look at the way we consume in order to begin mitigating these risks. Will we rise to the challenge?

If you like this post, find hundreds of charts
like this in our new book “Signals”:


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Financing

The World’s Largest IPOs Adjusted For Inflation

Billion-dollar IPOs are always exciting, but how do modern raises compare to the world’s largest IPOs throughout history? We chart the top 25.

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The World’s Largest IPOs Adjusted For Inflation

Billion-dollar initial public offerings (IPOs) are always eyebrow-raising events, and many have already made headlines in 2020.

Following the recent trend of tech IPOs outnumbering and out-hyping the competition, software has led the way. Cloud storage company Snowflake raised $3.4 billion in the largest ever software IPO, while gaming software developer Unity completed an IPO above its target price for a total of $1.3 billion and big data firm Palantir opted for a direct listing for a valuation of $22 billion.

More big names are still on the horizon. Both Airbnb and DoorDash have filed for December IPOs that would see them valued at close to $30 billion. It’s a big recovery for an IPO market that in 2019 saw major IPOs from Uber and Lyft underperform estimates.

But it was the last-minute cancellation of Ant Group’s IPO in November that would have been the largest public offering ever. At $34.5 billion, it would have eclipsed the massive $25.9 billion raised by energy giant Saudi Aramco in 2019.

How would this have stacked up against the world’s largest IPOs in history? We took the 25 largest global IPOs by nominal offering size as tracked by research firm Renaissance Capital, and adjusted them for inflation to October 2020 dollars.

NTT Docomo Tops the (Adjusted) Chart

Unicorn IPOs might be the current flavor in 2020, but they pale in comparison to communication and resource giants.

When adjusted for inflation, the largest ever IPO was Japan’s major mobile phone carrier NTT Docomo. The company went public as NTT Mobile Communications Network for a then-record $18 billion in 1998, which is $28.7 billion when adjusted for inflation to 2020.

CompanyIPO DateIndustryDeal Size ($B)Inflation Adjusted ($B)
NTT MobileOct 1998Communication Services18.128.7
Saudi AramcoDec 2019Energy25.625.9
ENEL SpANov 1999Utilities16.525.5
Alibaba (U.S.)Sep 2014Technology21.823.9
SoftBank CorpDec 2018Communication Services21.322.1
VisaMar 2008Technology17.921.8
Deutsche TelekomNov 1996Communication Services1321.3
AIA GroupOct 2010Financials17.821.2
General MotorsNov 2010Consumer Discretionary15.818.8
FacebookMay 2012Technology1618.1
ICBCOct 2006Financials1418.1
Japan Tobacco Inc.Oct 1994Consumer Staples9.616.7
AT&T Wireless GroupApr 2000Communication Services10.616.1
Rosneft Oil CompanyJul 2006Energy10.413.3
Dai-ichi LifeMar 2010Financials1113.2
Kraft FoodsJun 2001Consumer Staples8.712.7
Agricultural Bank (H.K.)Jul 2010Financials10.412.4
Bank of ChinaMay 2006Financials9.211.8
France TelecomOct 1997Communication Services7.311.7
GlencoreMay 2011Materials1011.5
Alibaba (H.K.)Nov 2019Technology11.211.3
Electricite De FranceNov 2005Utilities8.311
Agricultural Bank (China)Jul 2010Financials8.910.6
Hengshi MiningNov 2013Materials9.310.4
Japan AirlinesSep 2012Industrials8.59.5

Despite the recent flurry of IPO activity, only two of the largest 10 inflation-adjusted IPOs occurred in the last two years, with second place Saudi Aramco and Japan’s communications and tech conglomerate SoftBank.

Including NTT Docomo, three of the top 10 occurred in the 1990’s. Italy’s energy giant ENEL SpA raised the equivalent of $25.9 billion in 1999, and German communications company Deutsche Telekom raised the equivalent of $21.3 billion in 1996.

Communications services accounted for five of the top 25 IPOs, and four of the top 10. Only the financials were more prominent with six of the top 25.

Final IPO Numbers can Outperform (and Underperform)

One important consideration to make is that the final amount raised by an IPO can vary from the original deal size.

Though they are underwritten by a large financial institution for a set amount at a specific price range, companies often grant underwriters the “greenshoe option” to sell more shares than the original issue amount, usually up to 15% more.

This over-allotment option lets an underwriter capitalize on a strong market by offering more shares at a surging share price (which they cover at the original price). In the opposite case of falling share prices, the underwriter can buy back shares at market rate to stabilize the price and cover their short position.

Many of the largest ever IPOs have managed to capitalize on their much-hyped debuts. Saudi Aramco ended up raising $29.4 billion, almost $4 billion more than its original offering. In similar fashion, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $25 billion on an offering of $21.8 billion, and Visa raised $19.7 billion on an offering of $17.9 billion.

Additionally, large corporations can take advantage of market sentiment by going public in multiple equity markets. Alibaba’s $25 billion debut on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 was followed by a secondary offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2019 for $11.2 billion. Likewise, the Agricultural Bank of China listed on both the Hong Kong and Shanghai Stock Exchanges in 2010 for a combined $22.1 billion haul.

More IPOS on the Docket for 2021

With excitement around IPOs bubbling once again, more companies are lining up to become the next big breakthrough on public markets.

2021’s list of IPO candidates include shopping app Wish (which has already filed for an offering), gaming companies Epic Games and Roblox, payment processing firm Stripe and even dating app Bumble.

And Ant Group’s massive potential IPO shadow looms over all, though regulatory overhauls in China might push it back to 2022 and lower the size of the offering.

For now, the list of the world’s largest IPOs looks to be relatively stable. But with social media giant Facebook cracking the Top 10 list in 2012, and SoftBank’s massive IPO in 2018, the next +$10 billion dollar IPO is always around the corner.

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