Montana Trade Facts

  • In 2018, Montana exported a record $1.7 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world. In 2016, exports from Montana supported an estimated 13 thousand jobs.

Exports from Montana and Jobs

  • Montana was the 47th largest state exporter of goods in 2018.
  • In 2018, Montana goods exports were $1.7 billion, an increase of 19 percent ($272 million) from its export level in 2008.
  • Goods exports accounted for 3.4 percent of Montana GDP in 2018.
  • Montana goods exports in 2016 (latest year available) supported an estimated 13 thousand jobs. Nationally, jobs supported by goods exports pay up to an estimated 18 percent above the national average.

Made-in-America Manufacturing Exports from Montana and Jobs

  • In 2018, Montana exported $1.2 billion of manufactured products.
  • Montana exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 5,838 jobs in 2016.
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is chemicals, which accounted for $311 million of Montana's total goods exports in 2018.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are beverages & tobacco products ($298 million), machinery, except electrical ($156 million), transportation equipment ($78 million), and nonmetallic mineral products ($71 million).

Exports Sustain Thousands of Montana Businesses many of which are SMEs

  • A total of 1,243 companies exported from Montana locations in 2016 (latest year available). Of those, 1,056 (85 percent) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Small and medium-sized firms generated 55.5 percent of Montana's total exports of goods in 2016.

Montana Depends on World Markets

  • The state’s largest market was Canada. Montana exported $692 million in goods to Canada in 2018, representing 42 percent of the state’s total goods exports.
  • Canada was followed by Korea ($292 million), China ($115 million), Belgium ($85 million), and Japan ($57 million).
  • Montana’s exports (2018 value) to major world areas included:


2018 Value


$1.3 billion


$600 million

European Union

$225 million

South/Central America and Caribbean

$57 million

Sub-Saharan Africa

$12 million

  • 66 percent of Montana’s exports ($1.1 billion) go to current FTA partners.  

Agriculture in Montana depends on Exports

  • Montana is the country’s 32nd largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $1.2 billion in domestic agricultural exports abroad in 2017 (latest data available according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture).1

  • Top Agricultural exports (2017 value) were:


2017 Value

 2017 State Rank


$565 million


beef and veal

$161 million


grain products, processed

$90 million


feeds and other feed grains

$85 million


other plant products

$83 million



International Investment Creates Jobs in Montana

  • In 2015 (latest data available), foreign-controlled companies employed 7,200 Montana workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Montana included the United Kingdom, Canada and France.
  • Foreign investment in Montana was responsible for 1.9 percent of the state's total private-industry employment in 2015.


Montana’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

  • In 2017 (latest data available), the following metropolitan areas in Montana recorded goods exports: Great Falls ($104.2 million), Billings ($78.8 million), Missoula ($61.7 million).


1Estimates of state exports of agricultural products by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and goods exports by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce are based on different methodologies and are not directly comparable.