Current year-to-date ( YTD ) data is through April 2020.

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Trade Snapshot

U.S. trade decreases 4.16 percent through March

U.S. trade with the world totaled $964.77 billion through the first three months of 2020, according to a WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data.

That’s a 4.16 percent decrease since the same time period last year. The nation’s exports dropped 3.07 percent to $395.69 billion and imports dropped 4.91 percent to $569.09 billion. The overall trade deficit was $173.4 billion down compared to the same period last year, when the deficit was $190.25 billion.

Through March, the nation’s top trade partners were No. 1 Mexico, No. 2 Canada, No. 3 China, No. 4 Japan and No. 5 Germany. The same time period last year, the top five spots were held by No. 1 Mexico, No. 2 Canada, No. 3 China, No. 4 Japan and No. 5 Germany, respectively.

Taking a closer look at the leading U.S. trade partners:

  • No. 1 Mexico’s trade fell 1.86 percent to $148 billion. Exports fell 5.75 percent to $60 billion. Imports rose 1 percent to $87 billion.
  • No. 2 Canada’s trade fell 1.63 percent to $144 billion. Exports fell 4 percent to $69 billion. Imports rose 0.68 percent to $75 billion.
  • No. 3 China’s trade fell 25.81 percent to $98 billion. Exports fell 15.36 percent to $22 billion. Imports fell 28.38 percent to $76 billion.
  • No. 4 Japan’s trade fell 5.26 percent to $51 billion. Exports fell 0.64 percent to $18 billion. Imports fell 7.6 percent to $33 billion.
  • No. 5 Germany’s trade rose 0.34 percent to $47 billion. Exports rose 1.13 percent to $16 billion. Imports fell 0.05 percent to $31 billion.

The nation’s top five trading partners through March accounted for 49.42 percent of its trade with the world.

The U.S. had trade surpluses with 134 countries and deficits with 98 through March. That compares with 132 surpluses and 100 deficits for the same period one year earlier. The top three surpluses through March of this year were with The Netherlands, $6.14 billion; Hong Kong, $5.41 billion; Brazil, $4.67 billion. The top three deficits were with China, $53.9 billion; Mexico, $27.22 billion; and Germany, $15.17 billion.

The nation’s top five exports by value through March were civilian aircraft, parts; gasoline, other fuels; oil; passenger vehicles; and computer chips in that order. Those accounted for 22.72 percent of its total outbound trade.

The value of the nation’s top five imports through March were passenger vehicles; oil; returned exports, without change; medicines in individual dosages; and cell phones, related equipment. They accounted for 22.33 percent of all inbound shipments.

Looking more closely at U.S. exports:

  • No. 1 Civilian aircraft, parts fell 16.55 percent compared to last year, to $26.63 billion.
  • No. 2 Gasoline, other fuels rose 4.09 percent compared to last year, to $21.96 billion.
  • No. 3 Oil rose 24.07 percent compared to last year, to $17.59 billion.
  • No. 4 Passenger vehicles fell 2.58 percent compared to last year, to $12.78 billion.
  • No. 5 Computer chips rose 15.28 percent compared to last year, to $10.96 billion.

On the import side:

  • No. 1 Passenger vehicles fell 10.39 percent compared to last year, to $39.39 billion.
  • No. 2 Oil fell 4.55 percent compared to last year, to $26.91 billion.
  • No. 3 Returned exports, without change rose 10.51 percent compared to last year, to $21.24 billion.
  • No. 4 Medicines in individual dosages rose 24.36 percent compared to last year, to $21.18 billion.
  • No. 5 Cell phones, related equipment fell 20.96 percent compared to last year, to $18.36 billion.