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Foreign Trade Overview

Nearly $275 billion in foreign trade passed the Houston-Galveston Customs District in ’21, making it the 4th busiest district in the U.S.
Published on 10/12/22

  • The Houston-Galveston Customs District handled 351.6 million metric tons (“MT”) of goods and commodities in ’21, a 2.9 percent increase over ’20. These shipments were valued at $273.1 billion, up 38.7 percent from ’19.
  • Houston has achieved nearly $200 billion or more in annual trade for seven out of the past ten years.   
  • Thirty-seven countries logged more than $1 billion each in trade through the Houston-Galveston Customs District in ’21. Houston’s top 10 trading partners in ’21 were China ($24.8 billion), Mexico ($21.6 billion), Brazil ($16.8 billion), South Korea ($16.2 billion), India ($13.9 billion), Netherlands ($13.4 billion), Germany ($12.0 billion), Japan ($11.5 billion), United Kingdom ($9.9 billion) and Italy ($7.4 billion). 
  • Imports totaled $96.1 billion in ’21. The top five imports were fuels, crude oil, and refined products ($21.4 billion), industrial equipment and computers ($13.0 billion), electric machinery ($6.7 billion), articles of iron or steel ($5.9 billion), and motor vehicles and parts ($5.6 billion). 
  • Imports have declined by 35.3 percent in value since the beginning of the decade, from $148.6 billion in ’11 to $96.2 billion in ’21, and 52.1 percent in volume, from 162.8 MT in ’11 to 77.9 MT in ’21.
  • Exports totaled $176.9 billion in ’21. Leading exports included fuels, crude oil, and refined products ($111.0 billion), organic chemicals ($17.3 billion), plastics and plastic products ($9.9 billion), industrial equipment and computers ($8.7 billion), and motor vehicles and parts ($4.3 billion). 
  • Exports have increased in value by 47.7 percent in the past ten years, from 119.8 billion in ’11 to 176.9 billion in ’21, and 171.4 percent in volume, from 100.9 MT in ’11 to 273.8 MT in ’21.
Foreign Trade International Business
$96.1 billion

Houston's imports totaled $96.1 billion in '21. 

$176.9 billion

Houston's exports totaled $176.9 billion in '21.

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