Changes in 2019 from 2018:
- U.S. total exports of minerals and metals decreased by $8.7 billion (6.0 percent) to $137.7 billion.
- U.S. general imports of minerals and metals decreased by $16.6 billion (7.7 percent) to $198.6 billion.
U.S. total exports of minerals and metals fell by $8.7 billion (6.0 percent) from $146.5 billion in 2018 to $137.7 billion in 2019 but remained above 2015–17 levels (table MM.1). U.S. imports declined by $16.6 billion (7.7 percent) from $215.2 billion in 2018 to $198.6 billion in 2019 (table MM.2). While this placed U.S. imports below their 2017 level, they still exceeded the levels seen in 2015–16.
Canada and Mexico remained the largest destination markets, accounting for nearly 40 percent of U.S. domestic exports. Switzerland, which is not one of the top 10 markets, and China accounted for the largest absolute decreases in U.S. domestic exports of mineral and metals, falling $4.1 billion (56.1 percent) and $3.5 billion (45.9 percent), respectively, in 2019 from 2018. Decreases in exports to these and several other countries were partially offset by increases in exports to a few countries. In particular, U.S. domestic exports to the United Kingdom increased by $4.9 billion (51.3 percent) to $14.5 billion in 2019. The United Kingdom was the third-largest destination market for these goods in 2019. Germany now ranks as the fourth-largest destination market for U.S. domestic exports of minerals and metals, increasing from sixth in the previous year despite a $467 million (9.9 percent) decline in 2019.
U.S. precious metals and non-numismatic coins (MM020) recorded the largest decrease in U.S. domestic exports of minerals and metals in 2019, falling $2.1 billion (7.7 percent) to $25.1 billion. Likewise, U.S. domestic exports of steel mill products (MM025) decreased by $1.8 billion (15.5 percent), and exports of copper and related articles (MM036) declined by $1.1 billion (14.9 percent). U.S. domestic exports of copper ores and concentrates (MM004); certain ores, concentrates, ash, and residues (MM007); and wire products of base metal (MM030) all increased. Exports of copper ores and concentrates rose from $1.8 billion in 2018 to $2.3 billion in 2019, an increase of 28.4 percent. U.S. exports of certain ores, concentrates, ash, and residues rose by $188 million (14.3 percent), and exports of wire products of base metal rose by $136 million (6.9 percent) in 2019.
The value of U.S. imports of minerals and metals decreased by $16.6 billion (7.7 percent) to $198.6 billion in 2019. China and Canada continued to rank as the top two suppliers, even though they accounted for the largest share of the decrease in imports. U.S. imports of minerals and metals from China decreased by $5.9 billion (16.0 percent), while those from Canada fell by $2.4 billion (7.4 percent) in 2019. Other notable decreases in U.S. imports included those from two non-top 10 suppliers: Peru, for which imports decreased by $1.5 billion (53.3 percent), and Russia, for which they decreased by $1.1 billion (17.8 percent).
Decreases in U.S. imports of minerals and metals were led by steel mill products (MM025), natural and synthetic gemstones (MM019), and unwrought aluminum (MM037). U.S. imports of steel mill products declined by $5.6 billion (18.9 percent) to $24.1 billion in 2019, U.S. imports of natural and synthetic gemstones decreased by $4.4 billion (16.6 percent) to $22.1 billion in 2019, and U.S. imports of unwrought aluminum fell by $1.7 billion (14.9 percent) to $9.7 billion in 2019. The increase in U.S. imports of precious metals and non-numismatic coins (MM020), which rose by $1.4 billion (6.4 percent) in 2019, was not enough to offset these larger decreases.