In 2020, Maine’s exports fell 14%, similar to the national decline of 13%.
Unfavorable movement since the last available data
Benchmark: Maine’s international exports will grow at a pace faster than U.S. international exports.
Sales to customers in other states and countries provide valuable opportunities for Maine businesses. According to one estimate, exports account for about 4% of Maine businesses’ total sales. International sales made in Maine, such as those to foreign tourists and students, provide equivalent injections into the state’s economy, although are not tracked.
In 2020, the global pandemic reduced trade worldwide. Exports fell 13% across the U.S. and 14% in Maine. The decline hit nearly every sector, with the exceptions in Maine being pharmaceuticals and petroleum products (most of which pass through Maine en route to other markets).
Among Maine’s top traded products, sales of seafood, paper, industrial machinery, wood and wood pulp all declined at least 10%. Seafood exports fell 25%, mainly reflecting a drop in sales to Canada. Lobster exports to China actually increased in 2020 following a trade deal with that country. Canada remained Maine’s leading trade partner, with $1.2 billion in exports, followed by China, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Japan.
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International Exports (Rolling Three-Year Average)
Maine International Trade Center, Camoin Associates