Nicknamed “The Last Frontier” located in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, Alaska shipped US$5.6 billion worth of products around the globe in 2022.
That dollar amount results from an 11.9% increase from $5 billion four years earlier in 2019.
Year over year, the overall value of Alaskan exports fell by -6.8% compared to $6 billion worth of Alaskan exports during 2021.
Alaska ranks near the bottom of America’s 40 biggest exporters by state, lagging front-runners including Texas, California, Louisiana, New York State and Illinois. The value of Alaska’s exports equals 0.3% of the United States’ overall exported products sold in 2022.
Based on research from Statista, Alaska’s exported products represent 11.2% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product ($49.6 billion.
Given Alaska’s population of 733,583 people, its total $5.6 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $7,600 for every resident in the “Last Frontier” state. That dollar metric falls below the average $8,200 per capita one year earlier during 2021.
Alaska’s unemployment rate was 3.7% at the end of March 2023, down from 6.6% at February 2022 per YCharts.
The following export products represent the highest dollar value in Alaska global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Alaska.
Figures are shown at the more granular six-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, for more precise product identification.
- Zinc ores, concentrates: US$1.45 billion (26.1% of Alaska’s total exports)
- Gold (unwrought): $635.8 million (11.4%)
- Frozen fish meat: $371.1 million (6.6%)
- Lead ores, concentrates: $362.3 million (6.5%)
- Miscellaneous frozen fish: $282.7 million (5.1%)
- Frozen sockeye salmon: $274.3 million (4.9%)
- Frozen Alaska pollock fillets: $261.5 million (4.7%)
- Frozen livers, roes: $247.4 million (4.4%)
- Frozen Pacific salmon: $217.8 million (3.9%)
- Precious metal ores, concentrates not silver: $187.4 million (3.4%)
Alaska’s top 10 exports generated over three-quarters (76.9%) of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.
Among the above export categories, the leading gainer was frozen sockeye salmon (up 55.5% from 2021).
In second place were Alaskan exports of non-monetary gold (up 17.6%) trailed by miscellaneous frozen fish (up 15.7%) then zinc ores and concentrates (up 9.3%).
The severest year-over-year decliner was Alaska’s shipments of lead ores and concentrates, dragged down by a -29.1% reduction from 2021.
More Key Facts about Alaska’s International Trade
Alaska incurred an overall $1.8 billion surplus exporting and importing products during 2022. That dollar amount reflects -16.2% in shrinkage from $2.19 billion in black ink for 2021.
Another way of saying surplus or deficit is positive or negative net exports. In a nutshell, the term “net exports” quantifies the amount by which foreign spending on a state’s goods or services exceeds or lags that same state’s spending on foreign goods or services.
Below are Alaska’s top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2022.
- Processed petroleum oils (not bidiesel): US$1.189 billion (50.4% of Alaska’s total imports)
- Computer parts and accessories: $413.1 million (11%)
- Modems, similar reception/transmission devices: $156.3 million (4.2%)
- Light petroleum oils (not biodiesel): $133.9 million (3.6%)
- Copper ores, concentrates: $122.5 million (3.3%)
- Crude petroleum oils: $74.1 million (2%)
- Antibiotics in dosage: $42.7 million (1.1%)
- Iron or steel casing, tubing: $35.8 million (1%)
- Miscellaneous telecommunication devices: $31.1 million (0.8%)
- Solid-state semiconductor storage devices: $30.9 million (0.8%)
Alaska has highly positive net exports in the international trade of zinc, gold and seafood-related products, and lead. In turn, these cashflows indicate Alaska’s competitive advantages under those product categories.
Major Alaskan Trade Partners
The following list shows the top 10 customers that purchased nearly four-fifths (78.1%) worth of the total value of products exported from Alaska during 2022.
- mainland China: US$1.1 billion (19.5% of Alaska’s total exports)
- Japan: $892.9 million (16%)
- Canada: $824.3 million (14.8%)
- South Korea: $780.7 million (14%)
- Australia: $429.6 million (7.7%)
- Netherlands: $280.1 million (5%)
- Switzerland: $251.2 million (4.5%)
- Spain: $173.6 million (3.1%)
- Taiwan: $106.8 million (1.9%)
- Belgium: $103.8 million (1.9%)
Alaska’s top trade partners in Asia (mainland China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) purchased over half (51.4%) of the overall value of exported goods from Alaska–the U.S. state also known as “The Last Frontier”.
The percentage for top Asian customers greatly exceeds the 14.5% of Alaskan exported goods purchased by leading European trade partners (Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain and Belgium) and 15.2% for North American trading partners.
Alaskan Export Companies
Not one Alaska-based corporation ranks among Fortune 1000 Companies, a list that showcases America’s largest businesses.
According to Zippia, below are examples of relatively large companies based in Alaska.
- Alaska USA (credit union, diversified financial services)
- Silver Bay Seafoods (fish, other seafoods)
- Calista (telecommunications)
- Ravn Alaska (airliner)
- Copper River Seafoods (fish, other seafoods)
- Goldbelt, Inc. (asset management, equipment leasing, services)
Shown within brackets for each company is a summary of the products or services which each business sells, some of which are international trade-related.
Alaska’s capital is Juneau, a city named for Canadian gold prospector and miner Joseph Juneau.
See also Ohio’s Top 10 Exports, Alabama’s Top 10 Exports, Oregon’s Top 10 Exports, Louisiana’s Top 10 Exports and Washington State’s Top 10 Exports
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