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HomeGlobal TradeAn Introduction to Utah, The Beehive State

An Introduction to Utah, The Beehive State

Utah is the 13th largest state by area, with a population of more than 3 million living in the state. The flag of Utah has a beehive in it, and Utahans relate the beehive symbol to industry and to the pioneer virtues of thrift and perseverance.

Approximately 2 out of 3 Utah residents are reported to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (also known as the Mormon Church.) Utah is also the only state with a majority of the population belonging to a single church. The state is a center of transportation, education, information technology and research, government services, mining, and a major tourist destination for outdoor recreation. In 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Utah had the second fastest-growing population of any state. Furthermore, St. George, Utah, was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S. from 2000 to 2005. Utah also has the 14th highest median average income, and the lowest income inequality of any U.S. state.

Below are some interesting facts about Utah’s trade figures.

  • International trade (both imports and exports) supports 374,963 Utah jobs, more than 1 out of every 5 jobs in the state.
  • Utah exported $16 billion of goods and $6.1 billions of services in 2013, where 86% of Utah’s exporters are small-sized businesses.
  • Customers in 204 countries buy Made in Utah goods and services, including top markets such as Hong Kong, Canada, and China.

Below is a list of Utah’s Top Exports, per industry.


  1. Nonferrous Metals: $8.2 billion
  2. Semiconductors & Components: $1.7 billion
  3. Navigational & Measurement Instruments: $662 million
  4. Misc. Foods: $536 million
  5. Medical Equipment & Supplies: $362 million


  1. Travel: $1.0 billion
  2. Computer Software: $845 million
  3. Credit-Related Services: $689 million

Utah ranks among the top 15 state exporters in eight industries, including second in nonferrous metals ($8.2 billion), third in miscellaneous animal products ($149 million), fourth in miscellaneous prepared foods ($536 million), and ninth in semiconductors and parts ($1.7 billion.) Utah is America’s 34th largest exporter of agricultural products. It is the second leading exporter of fur skins and ranks among the top 10 exporters of hay and miscellaneous non-citrus fruits. One of Utah’s fastest growing export categories is miscellaneous prepared foods, which have increased by 17 percent annually since 2003. In 2013, exports of these products reached $536 million.

Below are Utah’s import figures, with commodities and values for the last 2 years.

Top 5 6-digit HS Commodities Based on 2017 Dollar Value

Rank HS Code Description 2016 Value 2017 Value 2016 % Share 2017 % Share
Total Utah Imports and % Share of U.S. Total 12,989 13,911 0.6 0.6
1 710812 GOLD, NONMONETARY 3,477 4,309 26.8 31.0
2 880240 AIRPLANE & OT A/C, UNLADEN WEIGHT > 15,000 KG 1,093 573 8.4 4.1
3 710691 SILVER, UNWROUGHT NESOI 429 411 3.3 3.0

Here are the top 5 countries that Utah imported from in 2016 & 2017, respectively.

Top 5 Countries Based on 2016 & 2017 Dollar Value

Rank Country 2016 Value 2017 Value 2016 % Share 2017 % Share
Total, Top 5 Countries and % Share of State Total 12,270 13,073 94.5 94.0
1 Mexico 3,310 3,303 25.5 23.7
2 China 1,992 2,521 15.3 18.1
3 Canada 2,003 2,197 15.4 15.8
4 Peru 988 1,375 7.6 9.9
5 Brazil 1,116 626 8.6 4.5

Below are some selected foreign-owned companies employing workers in Utah.

Company Industry Country
Alpha Pro Tech Inc. Safety Product Manufacturing Canada
Autoliv North America Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing Sweden
Barrick Gold Corporation Mining Canada
Denison Mines (USA) Corp. Mining Canada
Gerdeau Ameristeel Steel Product Manufacturing Brazil
Holiday Inn Hotel Services United Kingdom
Kennecott Utah Copper Mining Australia
KPMG LLP Accounting Services Netherlands
Sims Metal Management Metal Recycling Services Australia
The Dannon Company Dairy Product Manufacturing France
Tokyo Electron America, Inc. Semiconductor Equip. Manufacturing Japan
Veolia Environmental Services Waste Management Services France
Rojda Akdag
Rojda Akdag
Rojda is originally from Turkey and after getting his BA from Koc University in Istanbul, he moved to New York to get his MBA at Baruch College. He has been working at MTS Logistics since 2003 and has held many positions from Operations to Development Manager. He is currently residing in Los Angeles where he is the Managing Director of MTS. Fun Fact(s): Rojda is an avid golfer, a martial art practitioner, and a motorcyclist!

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