Changes in 2019 from 2018:
- U.S. total exports of chemicals and related products increased by $413 million (0.2 percent) to $243.7 billion.
- U.S. general imports of chemicals and related products increased by $9.7 billion (3.1 percent) to $320.1 billion.
From 2018 to 2019, U.S. total exports of chemicals and related products grew by $413 million (0.2 percent) to $243.7 billion after rising by $15.8 billion (6.9 percent) in the previous year (table CH.1). U.S. imports of chemicals and related products rose by $9.7 billion (3.1 percent) between 2018 and 2019, a continued trend since 2016 (table CH.2).
Canada and Mexico have been the top destinations for U.S. domestic exports of chemicals and related products over the five-year period, together accounting for 29.5 percent of exports in 2019. However, U.S. domestic exports to Canada decreased by $1.2 billion (2.9 percent) in 2019, while U.S. domestic exports to Mexico decreased by $2.5 billion (7.2 percent)—the largest decline that year. U.S. domestic exports to Austria posted the largest increase by value—$1.7 billion (118.5 percent).
Across all markets, U.S. domestic exports of medicinal chemicals (CH019) had the biggest increase among all chemicals and related products, up $5.4 billion (10.0 percent) to $59.2 billion in 2019. This increase was entirely offset by decreases in U.S. domestic exports of most other chemicals and related products. The largest decreases were in miscellaneous plastic products (CH033), certain organic chemicals (CH006), and other plastics in primary forms (CH030), each declining by around $1 billion.
Ireland has been the top country supplying U.S. imports of chemicals since 2016. It accounted for 13.9 percent of total U.S. imports of chemicals in 2019 and was the source of the largest absolute increase, growing $3.4 billion (8.2 percent) between 2018 and 2019. In percentage terms, the largest increase in U.S. imports of chemicals and related products in 2019 was in those from Belgium, which rose by $3.0 billion (54.2 percent) to $8.5 billion. During the same period, China posted the largest decline in value, a decrease of $6.0 billion (14.9 percent).
The vast majority of the increase in U.S. imports of chemicals and related products can be attributed to U.S. imports of medicinal chemicals (CH019), which rose by $16.1 billion (11.9 percent) to $151.6 billion in 2019. This continued the upward trend for these products over the five-year period analyzed. The 2019 increase was partially offset by a $2.0 billion (17.5 percent) decrease in imports of certain organic chemicals (CH006).