Ranked by total US dollar amounts spent by product category, the world’s 200 top imported consumer products were worth $10.3 trillion in 2021.
That metric represents 45.7% of the overall spending on all globally imported goods ($22.4 trillion) for the year.
The overall dollar total for world’s 200 most valuable imported consumer products rose by 22.2% from $8.4 trillion in 2020 to 2021. That percentage compares with a 26.5% gain for all imported goods worldwide for the year.
Returning to the top 200 imported consumer-targeted goods, 192 imports attracted higher spending from 2020 to 2021 whereas just 8 declined.
The world’s most valuable imported consumer product were cars in 2021. In second place for highest spending were processed petroleum oils trailed by mobile phones, computers, petroleum gas, then medications.
Changes in global consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.
Consumer Products Defined
Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.
Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. In contrast, it is common for a consumer to buy a car, truck or motorcycle.
Types of Consumer Products
This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.
Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap. Consumers use these and similar items one time only.
Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying the wrong model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a stale loaf of bread.
Specialty Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators or dishwashers.
Global Consumer Imports Smart List
The searchable marketing intelligence table below showcases the world’s 200 highest-value imported consumer products in descending order. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level.
The table’s fifth column identifies each entry’s consumer product type.
|2||Processed petroleum oils||$720,127,650,000||+56.9%||CP||ND|
|4||Computers, optical readers||$480,635,652,000||+17.5%||SP||D|
|9||Computer parts, accessories||$161,506,750,000||+19.6%||SP||D|
|10||Coal, solid fuels made from coal||$155,244,782,000||+61.5%||CP||ND|
|13||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$128,280,925,000||+23.3%||SP||D|
|14||Electrical converters/power units||$126,769,644,000||+20.7%||SP||D|
|17||Miscellaneous plastic items||$100,023,916,000||+16%||CP||ND|
|18||Electric storage batteries||$95,048,369,000||+42.3%||SY||D|
|19||Seats (not barber/dentist chairs)||$94,702,902,000||+26.2%||SP||D|
|22||Rubber tires (new)||$88,599,383,000||+23.1%||SP||D|
|24||Hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel items||$77,903,397,000||+69.4%||SP||D|
|27||Unrecorded sound media||$69,434,679,000||+9.1%||SP||D|
|28||Cases, handbags, wallets||$68,726,398,000||+21.1%||SP||D|
|29||Electric water heaters, hair dryers||$68,053,178,000||+25.1%||SY||D|
|30||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$64,035,035,000||+17%||CP||ND|
|31||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$62,733,007,000||+22.9%||SP||D|
|34||Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys||$60,590,573,000||+27.3%||SP||D|
|35||Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)||$60,508,765,000||+24.2%||SP||D|
|37||Other food preparations||$58,366,887,000||+12.9%||CP||ND|
|38||Women's clothing (not knit/crochet)||$56,547,931,000||+17.5%||SP||D|
|39||Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools||$56,483,980,000||+15%||SY||D|
|46||Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries||$44,352,412,000||+14.3%||CP||ND|
|48||Packaged insecticides, herbicides||$43,833,090,000||+3.2%||SP||D|
|49||T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)||$43,000,810,000||+20.1%||SP||D|
|51||Video console games, table games||$39,999,164,000||+29.9%||SP||D|
|53||Men's suits (unknit/non-crochet)||$38,818,303,000||+13.6%||SP||D|
|55||Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)||$37,117,904,000||+23.9%||CP||ND|
|56||Other organic cleaning preparations||$36,956,135,000||+9.1%||CP||ND|
|61||Crustaceans (including lobsters)||$35,014,091,000||+28.9%||CP||ND|
|62||Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines||$34,424,694,000||+12.6%||SY||D|
|65||Vulcanized rubber items||$33,244,164,000||+21.1%||SP||D|
|66||Women's clothing (knit or crochet)||$33,119,430,000||+29%||SP||D|
|67||Footwear (rubber or plastic)||$32,430,803,000||+20.7%||SP||D|
|68||Chocolate, other cocoa preparations||$32,289,123,000||+12.5%||CP||ND|
|71||Vulcanized rubber apparel/accessory||$30,289,854,000||+82.8%||SP||D|
|72||Sugar (cane or beet)||$30,104,554,000||+15.5%||CP||ND|
|73||Wrist/pocket watches (regular case)||$29,429,933,000||+32.2%||SP||D|
|76||Paper containers, cellulose wadding||$28,210,947,000||+19.5%||SP||D|
|77||Miscellaneous textile items||$28,156,269,000||-65.2%||SP||D|
|78||Fish fillets, pieces||$27,708,239,000||+13.2%||CP||ND|
|79||Fresh or chilled beef||$27,609,942,000||+21.2%||CP||ND|
|80||Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)||$27,232,446,000||+23.3%||CP||ND|
|81||Electric generating sets, converters||$26,285,207,000||+12.2%||SY||D|
|82||Waters with added sugar||$25,444,069,000||+17.2%||CP||ND|
|84||Whole fish (frozen)||$24,327,161,000||+5.3%||CP||ND|
|85||Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream||$24,122,019,000||+7.7%||CP||ND|
|86||Interchangeable hand/machine tools||$23,928,665,000||+19.4%||SY||D|
|87||Malt extract, food preparations||$23,859,319,000||-1%||CP||ND|
|88||Plastic wares (table, kitchen, toiletry)||$23,795,741,000||+23%||CP||ND|
|89||Whole fish (fresh)||$23,702,432,000||+22.4%||CP||ND|
|90||Perfumes, toilet waters||$21,831,102,000||+29.3%||CP||ND|
|95||Hand-drawn paintings, drawings||$19,349,200,000||+44.4%||SY||D|
|96||Miscellaneous aluminum items||$19,221,823,000||+24%||SP||D|
|97||Electromechanic domestic appliances||$18,982,507,000||+28.1%||SY||D|
|98||Women's coats (unknit/non-crochet)||$18,931,423,000||+15.2%||SP||D|
|102||Miscellaneous preserved fruits||$17,913,217,000||+10.4%||CP||ND|
|103||Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared)||$17,795,388,000||-1.1%||CP||ND|
|104||Uncoated paper for writing/printing||$17,752,997,000||+8.2%||CP||ND|
|105||Fresh or dried citrus fruit||$17,361,729,000||+0.7%||CP||ND|
|106||Other fresh/chilled vegetables||$17,310,656,000||+7.5%||CP||ND|
|107||Wrist/pocket watches (precious case)||$17,295,726,000||+40.9%||SP||D|
|110||Miscellaneous meat (preserved/prepared)||$16,837,031,000||+6.6%||CP||ND|
|113||Yachts, other pleasure/sports vessels||$16,676,751,000||+23.2%||SP||D|
|115||Sauces, mixed condiments, seasoning||$16,032,971,000||+14.4%||CP||ND|
|116||Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners||$15,976,217,000||+3.3%||SP||D|
|117||Iron/steel stoves, barbecues||$15,970,459,000||+42.7%||SY||D|
|118||Printed books, brochures||$15,880,561,000||+12%||SP||D|
|119||Iron/steel tables, household items||$15,831,792,000||+30.4%||SP||D|
|120||Prepared glues, adhesives||$15,766,336,000||+20.4%||SP||D|
|121||Fruit and vegetable juices||$15,692,265,000||+7.8%||CP||ND|
|122||Soap, organic surface-active goods||$15,458,153,000||+5.1%||SP||D|
|123||Men's coats (unknit/non-crochet)||$15,332,082,000||+14.4%||SP||D|
|128||Plastic tile or roll coverings||$13,611,998,000||+28.3%||SP||D|
|129||Shaving preparations, deodorants||$13,513,171,000||+9.5%||SP||D|
|130||Dried shelled vegetables||$13,395,468,000||+12.9%||CP||ND|
|131||Women's underwear (knit/crochet)||$13,361,352,000||+34.5%||SP||D|
|132||Felt or other non-woven garments||$13,196,938,000||-45.6%||SP||D|
|133||Glass bottles, other containers||$13,081,949,000||+19.2%||SP||D|
|134||Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)||$12,883,493,000||+17.2%||CP||ND|
|135||Stockings, hosiery (knit or crochet)||$12,778,912,000||+21.5%||SP||D|
|136||Fuel wood, wood chips, sawdust||$12,570,629,000||+14.4%||CP||ND|
|137||Men's suits,trousers (knit or crochet)||$12,462,664,000||+39.5%||SP||D|
|138||Grapes (fresh or dried)||$12,185,962,000||+3.8%||CP||ND|
|140||Bras, corsets (unknit/non-crochet)||$12,044,191,000||+24.1%||SP||D|
|141||Prepared vegetables (non-frozen)||$11,838,982,000||+5.2%||CP||ND|
|144||Tissues, napkins, toilet paper||$11,656,386,000||-7.4%||CP||ND|
|146||Magnets including electro-magnets||$11,513,700,000||+34.1%||SY||D|
|147||Coconuts, Brazil nuts, cashews||$11,477,352,000||+35.9%||CP||ND|
|148||Apples, pears (fresh)||$11,371,173,000||+5.8%||CP||ND|
|149||Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles||$11,291,558,000||+23.8%||SP||D|
|150||Women's shirts (not knit or crochet)||$11,138,463,000||+6.3%||SP||D|
|154||Miscellaneous live plants||$10,807,747,000||+19.1%||CP||ND|
|156||Crustaceans, molluscs (prepared)||$10,489,615,000||+18.7%||CP||ND|
|160||Red meat offal||$9,921,544,000||+12.1%||CP||ND|
|161||Prepared vegetables (frozen)||$9,840,903,000||+13.6%||CP||ND|
|162||Men's shirts (not knit or crochet)||$9,840,464,000||+1%||SP||D|
|165||Carnival items, magic tricks||$9,526,420,000||+32.4%||SY||D|
|168||Precious/semi-precious stones (unstrung)||$9,101,543,000||+91.9%||SY||D|
|169||Medication mixes not in dosage||$9,098,223,000||-31.5%||CP||ND|
|171||Coffee/tea extracts, concentrates||$8,975,577,000||+6.2%||CP||ND|
|172||Sowing seeds, fruits, spores||$8,884,822,000||+7.1%||CP||ND|
|173||Caps, lids, corks, pouring stoppers||$8,876,679,000||+19.2%||SP||D|
|175||Sheep or goat meat||$8,723,977,000||+17.8%||CP||ND|
|176||Miscellaneous wooden articles||$8,551,060,000||+21.5%||SP||D|
|177||Infant clothing (knit or crochet)||$8,310,682,000||+24.8%||SP||D|
|178||Wide knit or crochet fabrics||$8,269,679,000||+37.9%||SP||D|
|179||Insoles, heel cushions||$8,134,877,000||+19.3%||SP||D|
|180||Compasses, other navigational aids||$8,124,556,000||+7.4%||SY||D|
|181||Men's underwear (knit/crochet)||$8,099,200,000||+31.6%||SP||D|
|182||Special garments including sports||$8,050,862,000||+22.6%||SP||D|
|183||Vegetable saps, extracts||$7,926,666,000||+11.5%||CP||ND|
|186||Aluminum household items||$7,531,524,000||+33.9%||SP||D|
|187||Enamel paints, varnishes||$7,526,324,000||+17.4%||SP||D|
|189||Prepared cereal foods||$7,416,437,000||+3.5%||CP||ND|
|190||Frozen fruits, nuts||$7,401,169,000||+24.4%||CP||ND|
|191||Onions, garlic, leeks||$7,363,132,000||+1.2%||CP||ND|
|192||Oral/dental hygiene preparations||$7,265,725,000||+7.9%||CP||ND|
|193||Tea (including flavored)||$7,229,145,000||+5%||CP||ND|
|194||Leather clothing, accessories||$7,217,093,000||+16.9%||SP||D|
|195||Spectacle/goggle frames, mountings||$7,193,663,000||+32.2%||SY||D|
|196||Tufted carpets/textile floor coverings||$7,138,268,000||+21.2%||SP||D|
|198||Knit/crochet hats, other headgear||$6,821,497,000||+31%||SP||D|
|199||Men's shirts (knit or crochet)||$6,799,672,000||+7.9%||SP||D|
You can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2020 to 2021. To do so, click on the heading of the fourth column.
The world’s most popular product type is convenience products (CP) led by processed petroleum oils, petroleum gas, medications, coal including briquettes, and miscellaneous items made from plastic. Convenience products represent 87 of world’s top 200 imported consumer goods.
In second place via 83 entries are shopping products (SD) led by cars, mobile phones, computers, and automobile parts or accessories.
The third product category encompasses speciality products (SY) with 30 entries. Examples of world-leading speciality products are global imports of gold, diamonds, electric storage batteries, and jewelry.
Durable consumer products are goods like cars, refrigerators and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again. By product type, note that all shopping products and speciality products are considered as durable consumer products.
Non-durable consumer products (ND) are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Alcoholic beverages and bananas are examples of non-durable goods. Convenience products are uniquely non-durable consumer products.
Based on the product types identified in the above table, 113 of world’s highest-value consumer imported products are durable while 87 are classified as non-durable.
Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports
Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported around the globe that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2020 to 2021.
- Unstrung precious/semi-precious stones: Up 91.9% ($9.1 billion)
- Petroleum gas: Up 86.3% ($456.3 billion)
- Vulcanized rubber clothing and accessories: Up 82.8% ($30.3 billion)
- Items made from hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel: Up 69.4% ($77.9 billion)
- Nitrogenous fertilizers: Up 63.1% ($38.9 billion)
- Soya-bean oil: Up 61.6% ($16.7 billion)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: Up 61.5% ($155.2 billion)
- Processed petroleum oils: Up 56.9% ($720.1 billion)
- Diamonds (unmounted/unset): Up 56.7% ($118.2 billion)
- Barley: Up 55.6% ($11.7 billion)
Five among the above items are durable goods that consumers can re-use over time. Two are shopping products (vulcanized rubber clothing and accessories, items made from hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel) that require a comparatively longer time to make a buying decision, while 3 top gainers are periodically purchased speciality items specifically unstrung precious or semi-precious stones, nitrogenous fertilizers, and diamonds.
The remaining 5 of the 10 fastest-growing imported consumer products are convenience products that are used once. These are petroleum gas, soya-bean oil, coal, processed petroleum oils, and barley.
Worst-Declining Consumer Imports
The world’s spending on the following imported items decreased from 2020 to 2021.
- Miscellaneous textile items: Down -65.2% ($28.2 billion)
- Felt or other non-woven garments: Down -45.6% ($13.2 billion)
- Medication mixes not in dosage: Down -31.5% ($9.1 billion)
- Antibiotics: Down -7.9% ($10.8 billion)
- Tissues, napkins, toilet paper: Down -7.4% ($11.7 billion)
- Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes: Down -2.2% ($24.9 billion)
- Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared): Down -1.1% ($17.8 billion)
- Malt extract, food preparations: Down -1% ($23.9 billion)
Six among the top declining product categories above are non-durable convenience products that are consumed one time only. These top-gaining convenience products range from medication mixes not in dosage to cigars, cigarellos and cigarettes.
The remaining two import decliners are shopping products that normally require more time for shoppers to make buying decisions. Purchases under the shopping products category are more likely to be deferred than convenience products. The declining shopping products are preserved or prepared fish and caviar, then malt extract and malt food preparations.
Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.
BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: World Economy.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Trading Economics, World Consumer Spending.
Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.
World’s Top Exports, World’s Top Imports: Products and Countries.