Top 5 export markets (and what you can sell them)

Top 5 export markets (and what you can sell them)

Whether you’re new to exporting and wondering where to start or just trying to expand your reach, here are 5 markets that need to be on your radar right now.

  1. United States: As a country known for its blatant consumer culture, perhaps it is no surprise that the US is on top of the world’s biggest importer’s list. In 2021, the US imported goods valued US$ 2.83 trillion from its trading partners around the globe. The consumers in the US are very informed and are open to international companies and brands. There’s almost no limit to what US businesses and consumers are looking to buy and COVID-19 has prompted new purchasing behavior. So here’s a tip about how to sell it to them: be authentic and understand the wave of change such as responsible consumption. Consumers are more drawn towards sustainable, transparent & clean range of products. In 2021, the US majorly imported Machinery including computers, electrical machinery, vehicles, mineral fuels including oil, pharmaceuticals, optical, technical, medical apparatus, gems, precious metals, plastics, plastic articles, furniture, bedding, lighting, prefabricated buildings and organic chemicals. 
  1. China: China, better known as the world’s biggest manufacturing hub, stands tall at the number two spot of import nations worldwide. In 2021, total goods imported by this Asian powerhouse accounted for approximately US$ 2.4 trillion, witnessing a surge in import value by about 30% compared to the previous year. More than half of China’s imports come from other Asian countries; but Europeans, North Americans and Africans are strong trading partners as well. The major products imported by China in 2021 were electrical machinery, equipment, mineral fuels including oil, ores, slag, ash, and other machinery like computers, optical, technical, medical apparatus. Vehicles, plastics, plastic articles, gems, precious metals, Copper and organic chemicals were also in high demand in Chinese market. The United States and China came to an historic and enforceable agreement in its phase one in 2020, which calls for structural reforms and other adjustments to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer and agriculture among other things. In the phase one deal, China also pledged to significantly increase its purchases of American goods and services in the upcoming years.
  1. Germany: Deutschland, Europe’s most industrialized and populous country, is also the third largest importer and exporter in the world. In 2021, Germany recorded an import value of US$ 1.42 trillion, purchasing Computers, electronic and optical products, motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers. The leading European nation also imported  chemical products, machinery and equipment, electrical equipment, basic metals, crude petroleum and natural gas in addition to basic pharmaceutical products and food products, comprising the top value added imports in 2021. Germany enjoys import partnerships with China, the Netherlands, the US along with Poland, Italy, France, Belgium, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Austria. However, if you want to score big in trade with Germany, try selling the things they need to manufacture the goods they will eventually turn around and sell to the rest of the world. Semiconductors from Malaysia, Japan and Vietnam had a huge market in Germany, making this European center of trade the ultimate export market for electronics and machinery. German buyers often tend to be skeptical about the treatment and priority given to their order fulfillment. So the one tip when approaching a German buyer is to show your total commitment to complete a quick shipment of the consignment without mentioning too much about your orders from domestic as well as other international markets.
  1. Japan: Japan, land of the rising sun, is also the global leader in the robotics, natural sciences, aerospace exploration and biomedical research areas. In 2021, its imports accounted for  US$768.9 billion, witnessing a  21.2% surge from 2020. Because of a lack of natural resources such as oil and natural gas and industry staples such as machinery and metals, it relies heavily on other countries to make up the difference. The purchase of mineral fuels surged,  which was boosted by petroleum and coal. Electrical machinery imports also increased by 32.3% highlighted by the bulk purchase of semiconductors. Other export commodities sold to Japan were chemicals, manufactured goods, nonferrous metals, machinery, computers, ores and transport equipment. Japan’s top import sources are China, USA, Germany, Australia and other Asian nations like S. Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Japan holds a large share in the Asian retail market, making it very lucrative for the exporters.
  1. United Kingdom: Rounding off the list of top 5 export markets for exporters is the post-Brexit land of the United Kingdom. With over £505 billion of imports in 2021 alone, the imports in the UK increased by 1.7% when compared with the pandemic-marred 2020. The highly sophisticated consumer market features massive demand for productivity enhancing export commodities like communication technology software and equipment related to aerospace, defense, safety and cyber security. Having signed the 2015 Paris agreement along with 195 other nations, including the recent reinstatement of the United States by the Biden administration, the United Kingdom takes the low carbon emission pledge seriously and has therefore invested in the purchase of green technologies, e-vehicles, renewable energy and smart-grid technologies. While precious metals top the list of imports for the UK consumer, mechanical appliances, mineral fuels, motor vehicles, electronic equipment, pharmaceutical products, plastics and plastic products. 

Despite the United States’ major share in exports to the UK, the nation’s top trading partners list was topped by China in 2021, followed by Germany, United States, Netherlands and Norway.

The year 2021 saw a record trade of US$28.5 Trillion, marking an incredible and promising increase of 25% over the previous year. As the combined imports of these five countries alone amounted to almost a third of the total trade value- US$8.02 trillion, choosing these countries as export markets is as safe a bet as it can be for any exporter around the world. 

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