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Q: California's top imports ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: California's top imports
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: meghantalt-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 25 Apr 2006 19:27 PDT
Expires: 25 May 2006 19:27 PDT
Question ID: 722851
Can you tell my 4th grade student what California's top imports are? 
All reference materials I have checked are full of information about
California's exports, but imports don't seem to rate discussion.  We
have guessed that California imports oil, cars and clothing, but it's
just a guess. In her history book it says that California imports the
most from Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and Taiwan.   Also, if you have
a pie chart or graph breakdown of California's imports that would be
helpful.  Thank you.

Request for Question Clarification by bobbie7-ga on 26 Apr 2006 17:21 PDT

Would you be interested in California?s top imports from Canada as the
answer to your question?


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 27 Apr 2006 05:17 PDT

Good question!  And as it turns out, import information by state just
isn't generally available.

However, California's ports and airports and roads are major pathways
for imports into all of the US.  As a country, the largest category of
imports is manufactured goods, followed by energy and then
agricultural goods.

The largest individual categories (in rank order) imported to the US
-- and presumably the largest for California as well -- are:

--cars and trucks



--TVs, VCRs, etc


Does that help?


Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 27 Apr 2006 08:45 PDT
Hello meghantalt-ga,

It's surprisingly difficult to get consolidated information about
California imports. I've found several resources for particular import
items. Would this type of information meet your needs?

~ czh ~

Clarification of Question by meghantalt-ga on 02 May 2006 11:39 PDT
Hi Bobbie7--

Yes, we'd be interested in Canadian imports to CA.

Hi Pafalfa--

Thanks for the information--I think this will help us answer her question.

Hi CZH--

I don't think we want that specific information broken down by
item--too detailed for 4th grade, but thanks!
Subject: Re: California's top imports
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 02 May 2006 12:43 PDT
Hello again Meghantalt,

California's Leading Imports from Canada
2004, in millions of U.S. dollars

Total California imports from Canada: $19.5 billion

Automobiles ($10,411) 
Office machines & equipment ($454) 
Organic chemicals ($442) 
Newsprint ($318) 
Meat ($290) 
Containers ($233) 
Motor vehicle parts, not including engines ($231) 
Synthetic rubber & plastics ($214) 
Basic plastic shapes & forms ($176) 
Petroleum & coal products ($163) 

?Given the predominance of the transportation sector, it is not
surprising that the leading import was the automobile, which accounted
for over 50% of all imports. Motor vehicle parts also ranked within
the top ten.

Other leading import sectors were forest products (8%), equipment
(7%), agriculture (7%) and chemicals (5%). Three of the leading
commodities were from the chemical sector: organic chemicals,
synthetic rubber and plastics, and basic plastic shapes and forms.
Other significant goods were newsprint ($300 million), meat ($290
million) and containers ($233 million). Petroleum and coal products
round out the list but it is important to note that the figure for the
state?s energy imports does not include an estimated $2.6 billion
worth of Canadian natural gas, which is shipped to the state by
pipeline through Washington and Oregon.?

A bar chart is provided here:

Statistics Canada: Foreign Affairs

?California imports 85% of the natural gas consumed in the state. At
$8/MCF, that is $15 billion leaving the state each year.?

Source: Workshop sponsored by PTTC's West Coast Region in Sacramento,
California on April 28, 2005.

Industry Canada provides a handy tool to obtain for Canada?s trade
with California by product.
1. Under TRADE TYPE: Select Total Exports
2. Time Period: Specific Year and then choose 2005 and continue.
3. Trader: Choose Canada
4. Trading Partner:  Choose CALIFORNIA
5. Value in: $US
6. Product Search: Top 25 Products
7: Graph Type: Bar Graph Vertical
8. Run Report or Run Graph

I hope the information provided is helpful!

Search terms:
California trade imports
California imports

Best regards, 
Subject: Re: California's top imports
From: researchsash-ga on 27 Apr 2006 12:45 PDT
you can find an extensive database of imports to california at this site:

you can also get some more information about different types of
industries that do the actual importing over here:

you can get a pie chart of induvidual items that are imported by just
searching the web, for example here's one here for  crude oil:

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