Top Merchandise Exporting Economies

The "Made in China" tag is a common sight on clothes and other merchandise all around the globe.
The "Made in China" tag is a common sight on clothes and other merchandise all around the globe.

Increased globalization has led to a surge in global trade. Countries export surplus commodities from domestic production sector and import merchandise abundant in other nations. The global trade industry has encouraged the emergence of top global players, who ship merchandise worth billions of dollars. Merchandise exported includes oil, minerals, gold, iron ore, vegetables, textiles, pharmaceuticals, machinery, arms, and electronics among many other commodities. The top merchandise exporting countries in 2015 are detailed below.


China exported goods worth $2.21 trillion across the world making it the largest exporting country. In the recent years, China’s economy has experienced tremendous growth. The country’s GDP in 2015 stood at about $19.51 trillion. 50.3% of its exports head to its Asian counterparts mainly Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea. China has a free trade agreement with Honk Kong and exports heavily to the region. In 2015 exports from China to non-Asian countries by volume were to US (18%), Germany (3%), UK (2.6%), Netherlands (2.6%), and India (2.6%). Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, and Thailand also imported a substantial amount of China’s exports. Top exports from China are electronic equipment, computers, machinery and engines, furniture, textiles, and medical equipment. Other exports are iron, steel, integrated circuits and mobile telephones.

United States

The US is the world’s second largest exporting nation. The country exported merchandise worth $1.50 trillion across the globe. The US has maintained strong political, economic and cultural links to Canada for decades. This relationship has molded Canada’s economy, an economy which continues to depend heavily on trade with the US. Canada is the largest importer of exports from the US. The US has been increasing trade relationships with the Asian and Pacific regions, which is more important with the recent boom in the economies there. China is a major importer of exports from the US, followed by some of its Asian counterparts namely, Japan and South Korea. Other destinations for US exports are Mexico, UK, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. The US has a diversified pool of exports broadly, which include refined petroleum, aircraft and space crafts, vehicles, machines, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and plastics.


Germany exported merchandise valued at $1.33 trillion. Germany is the leading economy in the European Union and it is world renowned for its innovation and cutting edge technology. Germany maintains good economic and political ties with the US which is its top importer. Germany and the US are allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and have embarked on several peacekeeping missions such as in Afghanistan and Africa. Germany and the US also channel direct investments between each other to enhance economic growth. Other major importing partners for the German products are France, UK, China, and the Netherlands. Major exports from Germany are vehicles, planes and helicopters, machinery, textiles, vehicle parts, chemicals, computer and electronic products, and metals.


Japan exported merchandise worth $624.94 billion. The growth of Japan’s economy has been largely attributed to growth in exports. Japan enjoys lucrative bilateral trade with China which imports nearly 21.5% of Japan’s exports. Japan also has trade ties with South Korea. The second largest importer of Japan’s exports is the US. The US and Japan have strengthened their ties in the recent years, a move which has seen the US establish bases in Japan to facilitate stability in the Asian and Pacific regions. Japan also exports commodities to Australia and the United Arab Emirates. Major exports from Japan are vehicles, electronics, iron and steel, machinery, plastics, and oil.

The other leading merchandise exporting countries by merchandise value in 2015 included the Netherlands, which exported $567.22 billion worth of goods, followed by South Korea ($526.76 billion), Hong Kong ($510.60 billion), France ($505.90 billion), the United Kingdom ($460.45 billion), and Italy ($459.07 billion). Europe, Asia, and North America are home to the top exporting countries. Exports stimulate a country’s economic growth, and the global market has continued to attract developing and emerging economies.

Top Merchandise Exporting Economies

RankCountryValue of Merchandise Exports in 2015 (US $)
1China$2.27 Trillion
2United States$1.50 Trillion
3Germany$1.33 Trillion
4Japan$624.94 Billion
5Netherlands$567.22 Billion
6South Korea$526.76 Billion
7Hong Kong$510.60 Billion
8France$505.90 Billion
9United Kingdom$460.45 Billion
10Italy$459.07 Billion

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