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California Trade Report for May 2019

Updated: Jul 5, 2019

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 www.centerforjobs.org/ca.

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 17.97% (12 month moving average; compared to 18.02% in Apr 2019 and 18.39% in May 2018).

California still remained the #1 state, ahead of Texas with 17.72% (compared to 17.71% in Apr 2019 and 17.08% in May 2018), although Texas continued to close the gap.

Trade through the Atlantic port states was at 29.53% (compared to 29.51% in Apr 2019 and 29.48% in May 2018). 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 611,000 jobs in May (up from 596,100 in May 2018), paying an average annual salary of $62.9k. This employment base in turn supports additional blue-collar and white-collar jobs in a range of other industries.

California Goods Exports Up


Billion in Exports

Total California goods exports were up $0.1 billion from May 2018 (up 0.8%). California remained in 2nd place with 10.61% of all US goods exports (12 month moving total), behind Texas at 19.42%.

California's Balance for Goods Trade


Billion of Goods Trade

California’s balance of goods trade through state businesses narrowed to -$20.7 billion, compared to a level of -$22.0 billion in May 2018. California trade accounted for 26% of the US trade deficit in goods in May 2019.

Top 10 Exports, May 2019

Top 10 exports by value are shown below, along with the change from May 2018.  As an indicator of California’s changing economic structure, Waste & Scrap—recycled waste instead of products—made the Top 10 list.

By shipping weight (vessel and air total), the leading export was Waste & Scrap at 1.2 billion kg (33% of total exports), followed by Petroleum & Coal Products at 1.0 billion kg (29%), and Agricultural Products at 0.3 billion kg (9%).

Top 10 Export Markets, May 2019