Connecticut commodity exports topped $16 billion in 2019, driven largely by the state's aerospace industry.

The $16.28 billion represents a 6.4% decrease from 2018, when exports totaled $17.4 billion. The state exported $14.4 billion in goods in 2017.

Connecticut's top 10 export destinations, 2019

The 2019 decrease can be attributed in part to federal tariffs and a shutdown in production of the Boeing 737 Max, both of which are impacting exports nationally, according to the latest Connecticut Economic Digest.

Shutdown of the 737 Max "will have likely ramifications on...the aerospace supply chain and delivery of parts and inventory," the digest noted.

Connecticut's aerospace sector accounted for 38%—$6.25 billion—of total commodity exports last year.

Small Business Impact

Companies with less than 500 employees sell the bulk of exports.

The latest figures show 89% of the 4,944 Connecticut companies that exported commodities in 2016 were small and midsize businesses.

In fact, 98% of U.S. exporters are small businesses.

Eighty-nine percent of Connecticut companies that exported commodities were small and midsize businesses.

Connecticut's exports support roughly 65,000 jobs.

The digest also noted that the $16.28 billion does not represent service exports from the state's insurance and financial sectors, thus "understating the true magnitude of Connecticut's overall export value."

Top Commodities

Connecticut's top five commodity exports in 2019 were:

  • Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts: $6.2 billion, down 12.8% from 2018
  • Industrial machinery, including computers: $3.1 billion, up 3.5%
  • Optic, photo, medical equipment: $1.24  billion, down 10.6%
  • Electric machinery, sound, TV, equipment, and parts: $1.2 billion, up 12.7%
  • Special classification—including exports and repaired exports: $774 million, down 17%

Mineral, fuel, and bitumen substances exports rose 51% from $151 million.

Among 2019 exports, the biggest year-to-year increase was with mineral, fuel, and bitumen substances, which rose 51% from $151 million in 2018 to $220 million.

The largest decrease was in pharmaceuticals, which fell 30.6% from $217 million to $188 million.

Major Markets

Connecticut's top export partners are:

  • Germany $2.5 billion (up 8.9% from 2018)
  • Canada $1.94 billion (down 0.7%)
  • France $1.8 billion (down 41%)
  • United Kingdom: $1.44 billion (down 2.3%)
  • China $1.26 billion (up 33%)

New England's 2019 commodity exports topped $56.6 billion, down 2.4%.

Regionally, Connecticut is the number two exporter in New England, trailing only Massachusetts.

New England's 2019 commodity exports topped $56.6 billion, down 2.4% from 2018.

The New England region's top five trading partners are Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, and Mexico.