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

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Trade Snapshot

U.S. trade decreases 13.21 percent through August

U.S. trade with the world totaled $2.4 trillion through the first eight months of 2020, according to a WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data.

That’s a 13.21 percent decrease since the same time period last year. The nation’s exports dropped 16.18 percent to $917.89 billion and imports dropped 11.26 percent to $1.48 trillion. The overall trade deficit was $564.57 billion down compared to the same period last year, when the deficit was $575.47 billion.

Through August, 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 18.52 percent to $337 billion. Exports fell 22.45 percent to $135 billion. Imports fell 15.7 percent to $203 billion.
  • No. 2 Canada’s trade fell 17.99 percent to $335 billion. Exports fell 17.24 percent to $163 billion. Imports fell 18.68 percent to $172 billion.
  • No. 3 China’s trade fell 10.66 percent to $332 billion. Exports fell 0.86 percent to $70 billion. Imports fell 12.94 percent to $263 billion.
  • No. 4 Japan’s trade fell 19.94 percent to $118 billion. Exports fell 12.87 percent to $43 billion. Imports fell 23.52 percent to $75 billion.
  • No. 5 Germany’s trade fell 12.09 percent to $110 billion. Exports fell 6.29 percent to $37 billion. Imports fell 14.78 percent to $73 billion.

The nation’s top five trading partners through August accounted for 48.61 percent of its trade with the world.

The U.S. had trade surpluses with 142 countries and deficits with 91 through August. That compares with 131 surpluses and 102 deficits for the same period one year earlier. The top three surpluses through August of this year were with The Netherlands, $12.14 billion; Hong Kong, $8.5 billion; Brazil, $7.93 billion. The top three deficits were with China, $193.12 billion; Mexico, $68.42 billion; and Switzerland, $44.5 billion.

The nation’s top five exports by value through August were civilian aircraft, parts; gasoline, other fuels; oil; computer chips; and passenger vehicles in that order. Those accounted for 19.76 percent of its total outbound trade.

The value of the nation’s top five imports through August were passenger vehicles; computers; cell phones, related equipment; medicines in individual dosages; and oil. They accounted for 20.74 percent of all inbound shipments.

Looking more closely at U.S. exports:

  • No. 1 Civilian aircraft, parts fell 40.09 percent compared to last year, to $49.01 billion.
  • No. 2 Gasoline, other fuels fell 27.55 percent compared to last year, to $41.64 billion.
  • No. 3 Oil fell 16.04 percent compared to last year, to $34.5 billion.
  • No. 4 Computer chips rose 12.99 percent compared to last year, to $29.27 billion.
  • No. 5 Passenger vehicles fell 26.52 percent compared to last year, to $26.97 billion.

On the import side:

  • No. 1 Passenger vehicles fell 31.85 percent compared to last year, to $81.11 billion.
  • No. 2 Computers rose 7.9 percent compared to last year, to $63.35 billion.
  • No. 3 Cell phones, related equipment fell 8.37 percent compared to last year, to $55.62 billion.
  • No. 4 Medicines in individual dosages rose 6.43 percent compared to last year, to $55.32 billion.
  • No. 5 Oil fell 41.12 percent compared to last year, to $52 billion.