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Mapped: The World’s Largest Exporters in 2018

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The World's Largest Exporters in 2018

Visualizing the World’s Largest Exporters in 2018

Trillions of dollars of goods get traded around the world every year.

In 2018, total global exports exceeded $19 trillion, including specialized goods falling into almost every possible category imaginable.

Whether you’re talking about German cars, Bangladeshi t-shirts, Saudi oil, or Swiss milk chocolate, just about anything is available on the world market for a price – and the world’s largest exporting countries aim to take advantage.

Ranked: The 15 Largest Exporters in 2018

Today’s visualization comes to us from HowMuch.net, and it resizes countries based on their most recent export numbers, as per data from the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Let’s take a look at how the field breaks down:

RankCountryExports (2018, $M)Share of Global Total
#1๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China$2,487,04512.8%
#2๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States$1,664,0858.6%
#3๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany$1,560,8168.0%
#4๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan$738,4033.8%
#5๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands$722,6683.7%
#6๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท Korea, Rep.$604,8603.1%
#7๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France$581,8163.0%
#8๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Hong Kong, China$569,2412.9%
#9๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy$546,6432.8%
#10๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom$485,7112.5%
#11๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium$466,7242.4%
#12๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexico$450,5722.3%
#13๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada$449,8452.3%
#14๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia$444,0082.3%
#15๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Singapore$412,6292.1%

Leading the list of the world’s largest exporters is China, with a whopping $2.5 trillion of goods sent abroad in 2018. If you add in Hong Kong’s numbers, China holds 15.7% of the global export total โ€” roughly equal to Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, France, and Singapore combined.

Coming next on the list is the U.S., which exports about $1.7 trillion of goods each year. After that comes Germany, which is the only other country to export over $1 trillion of goods per year.

Comparing U.S. and Chinese Exports

What does China export, and how does that compare to a more developed economy such as the United States?

Using data from MIT’s Observatory of Economic Complexity, we can see the broad breakdown of exports in both countries:

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China (Exports)Share๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. (Exports)Share
Machines48.5%Machines22.1%
Textiles9.9%Transportation14.9%
Metals7.1%Chemical Products13.7%
Chemical Products4.9%Mineral Products11.4%
Plastics and Rubbers4.0%Instruments6.8%
Instruments3.2%Plastics and Rubbers5.5%
Transportation3.2%Vegetable Products5.1%
Footwear and Headwear2.6%Metals4.8%
Stone and Glass1.7%Foodstuffs3.3%
Mineral Products1.3%Precious Metals3.1%
Animal Hides1.2%Animal Products2.2%
Other/Misc12.4%Paper Goods2.1%
Textiles1.7%
Other/Misc3.3%

On first glance, it’s clear that China’s exports are reliant on one heavy-hitting category (Machines) to drive a whopping 48.5% of total export value. Within that broad category of machines, there are many narrower categories, including:

  • Broadcasting equipment (9.6% of total exports)
  • Computers (6.1%)
  • Office machine parts (3.8%)
  • Integrated circuits (3.3%)
  • Telephones (2.6%)
  • Electrical transformers (1.3%)
  • Semiconductor devices (1.2%)
  • Video displays (1.1%)

For the United States, machines are still important at 22.1% of exports, but three other broad categories also surpass the 10% mark: transportation, chemical products, and mineral products. This means the U.S. is generally more diversified in its major exports.

For more, see the largest export of each state on this map.

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Mapped: Renewable Energy and Battery Installations in the U.S. in 2023

This graphic describes new U.S. renewable energy installations by state along with nameplate capacity, planned to come online in 2023.

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Renewable and Battery Installations in the U.S. in 2023

This was originally posted on Elements. Sign up to the free mailing list to get beautiful visualizations on real assets and resource megatrends each week.

Renewable energy, in particular solar power, is set to shine in 2023. This year, the U.S. plans to get over 80% of its new energy installations from sources like battery, solar, and wind.

The above map uses data from EIA to highlight planned U.S. renewable energy and battery storage installations by state for 2023.

Total U.S. renewable energy and battery installations, broken down by share

Texas and California Leading in Renewable Energy

Nearly every state in the U.S. has plans to produce new clean energy in 2023, but it’s not a surprise to see the two most populous states in the lead of the pack.

Even though the majority of its power comes from natural gas, Texas currently leads the U.S. in planned renewable energy installations. The state also has plans to power nearly 900,000 homes using new wind energy.

California is second, which could be partially attributable to the passing of Title 24, an energy code that makes it compulsory for new buildings to have the equipment necessary to allow the easy installation of solar panels, battery storage, and EV charging.

New solar power in the U.S. isnโ€™t just coming from places like Texas and California. In 2023, Ohio will add 1,917 MW of new nameplate solar capacity, with Nevada and Colorado not far behind.

Top 10 StatesBattery (MW)Solar (MW)Wind (MW)Total (MW)
Texas1,9816,4621,94110,385
California4,5554,2931238,970
Nevada6781,59602,274
Ohio121,91751,934
Colorado2301,1872001,617
New York585095591,125
Wisconsin4939921,034
Florida39780980
Kansas00843843
Illinois0363477840

The state of New York is also looking to become one of the nation’s leading renewable energy providers. The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) is making real strides towards this objective with 11% of the nation’s new wind power projects expected to come online in 2023.

According to the data, New Hampshire is the only state in the U.S. that has no new utility-scale renewable energy installations planned for 2023. However, the state does have plans for a massive hydroelectric plant that should come online in 2024.

Decarbonizing Energy

Renewable energy is considered essential to reduce global warming and CO2 emissions.

In line with the efforts by each state to build new renewable installations, the Biden administration has set a goal of achieving a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and a net zero emissions economy by no later than 2050.

The EIA forecasts the share of U.S. electricity generation from renewable sources rising from 22% in 2022 to 23% in 2023 and to 26% in 2024.

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