Automobiles Exceed Petroleum as World’s Most Traded Good – $1.35 Trillion Each Year

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Every day, massive quantities of goods and commodities or bulk goods get moved around on huge container ships from country to country. Included are common exports like crude oil, automobiles, iron ore, pharmaceuticals, and smartphones. But autos far exceed refined petroleum by  more than sixty percent (60%) . $1.35 trillion and $825 billion respectively.

Adding vehicle parts and delivery trucks to the auto number traded globally every year would add up to a whopping figure of $2.251 trillion with Germany leading in the category. USA leads in refined petroleum, and Russia in crude petroleum– $549 billion.

Here are the goods which get traded the most, and the countries which play the most important roles in these deals. The figure below shows the good categories, along with the total dollar value and percentage of total exports that each category represents on the global market.

Finished automobiles are the top good traded worldwide with $1.35 trillion being traded each year between countries. Auto parts are not far behind in the #4 spot with $685 billion of trade.

Oil also stands out as a key commodity: refined petroleum ranks #2 with $825 billion of trade, while crude petroleum and petroleum gas are at #8 and #12, for $549 billion and $254 billion traded, respectively.

So the world economy may not be somewhat dependent on oil price fluctuations  as compared to auto and auto parts trading worldwide!

Finally, an odd standout is the category of human and animal blood – which apparently sees $252 billion in aggregate international trade each year.

In case you were wondering, here are the top exporters of human and animal blood:

Key Importers and Exporters

The United States is the biggest importer for 12 of the 18 trade categories, including the largest ones: automobiles and refined petroleum.

Interestingly, the U.S. is also the largest exporter of two of the goods that it is a top importer of: refined petroleum and medical equipment. This is because both are highly specialized categories – the U.S. may import one grade of refined oil at a low cost, while simultaneously exporting a higher or more specialized grade of oil at a premium.

Germany is a top exporter of autos, vehicle parts, and pharmaceuticals, while Switzerland is the number one importer and exporter of gold.

Lastly, China is the biggest exporter for five of the 18 trade categories: computers, broadcasting equipment, telephones, insulated wires, and jewelry, while being the largest importer of crude oil, integrated circuits, and aircraft.

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