EasyExport Insights™

April 2021 EasyExport Insights™ Monthly Analysis

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After a Year, Census Bureau Data Suggests the New Export Regulations for Firearm Products Haven’t Increased Exports

No one promised that moving export control over non-military firearms and ammunition from the State Department to the Commerce Department would lead to increased exports.

A year into the new regime, the U.S. Government data we analyze suggests that, in fact, they haven’t.

But maybe there is a story that isn’t reflected in the published data. In this issue, which completes our first year of publishing EasyExport Insights, we will, for the first time, examine proprietary data from within the EasyExport system. We see signs that a different story is beginning to emerge.

Published Macro Data Shows No Signs of Growth

Table 1 is a condensed version of the first table we include in every issue of EasyExport Insights.

April firearm export insights 1

Table 1 presents a 36-month backward look at all 22 of the product categories we follow, condensed into eight groupings.

The only grouping in which exports have grown significantly in the last three years is Spring, Air and Gas Guns, products that were unaffected by the change in export jurisdiction in March 2020.

In every other grouping except handguns, exports have gone up and down. Or just down. Even in the handgun category, when compared to Table 1, Table 2 shows that almost all the increase in handgun exports since the new regulations took effect in 2020 can be ascribed to one-time purchases of pistols by the governmental end users in Thailand.

Published Data for Individual Countries Do Not Show Growth Either

Like the global data, data at the individual country level show no clear signs that the new U.S. export regulations have generated an increase in exports of U.S. firearm products. The only country where there appears to be a connection between the new regulations and increased exports is Brazil.

We first noticed a possible connection between the new regulations and increased exports to Brazil in our December 2020 EasyExport Insights. In that issue, which included full-year 2020 statistics, we observed evidence of regulatory-related growth in three product categories: pistols, bolt action rifles, and ammunition for rifles and pistols.

Table 3 shows a continuation of this growth through April 2021.

In the December issue, we noted that the Commerce Department had reported that Brazil was the leading destination country for firearm-related exports. We also observed that Brazil President Bolsonaro’s liberalization of his country’s firearms laws was a likely contributor to growth. The combination of these factors led us to conclude that there was likely a causal correlation between the new U.S. export regulations and growth in exports to Brazil.

Four months later, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the new U.S. regulations are a contributing factor to rising exports to Brazil. The growth in exports to Brazil is both real and significant in three important product categories. During the year that preceded the change in U.S. export regulations, the three product categories shown in Table 3 accounted for just under $3 million in U.S. exports.

During the two years since the new U.S. export regulations took effect, the same three categories grew 292%, from $2.9 million to $8.66 million. That’s a $5.7 million increase. The three product categories in Table 3 accounted for a quarter of exports to Brazil in the year before the new regulations came into effect. Now they are three quarters.

In addition, Brazil has become the fifth largest export destination for U.S. pistols and the 12th largest destination for exports of bolt action rifles. (See pages 7 and 11 of the April 2021 EasyExport Insights.)

We’re willing to conclude that the growth we see in Table 3 would have been lower without the transition of export control jurisdiction over sporting firearms and ammunition from the State Department to the Commerce Department.

EasyExport Data Suggests a Correlation Between the New Regulations and Increased Exports

Our own proprietary data supports the conclusion that the new U.S. export regulations are contributing to an increase in U.S. exports.

EasyExport is an automated export processing service that began operating in July 2021, but, while waiting for our software engineers to complete their work, we began processing export transactions in March 2020 using a manual version of EasyExport.

During the 15-month period from late March 2020 through June 2021, we processed more than 1,500 export shipments, ranging in value from $4.99 to $50,000. This included slightly fewer than 100 licensable, mostly commercial, shipments, and more than 1,400 non-licensable shipments. Licensable shipments went to 13 countries and non-licensable shipments were exported to 27 countries.

Although our sample size is small and not statistically significant, we see clear signs of an increase in small shipments ($500 or less) to countries other than Canada. This is an important category of shipments. These shipments include products that are now classified as EAR99 or 0A501.y, as well as products that are now classified as 0A501.c, .d, or .x.

Prior to the change in export jurisdiction from the State Department to the Commerce Department, nearly all the shipments in this category with a value over $100 would have required an ITAR export license (DSP-5) from the State Department. With the filing cost of the license being $250, it is highly unlikely that small shipments between $100 and $500 in value would have occurred.

Now they can occur. Under the new regulations, small shipments do not require a license unless the value exceeds $500, and, when a license is required, there is now no filing fee. Accordingly, we believe it is hard not to attribute growth in non-Canadian small shipments to the change in regulatory jurisdiction that occurred in March 2020.

We look at exports to countries other than Canada, by the way, because the non-licensable value limitation for Canada has not changed. It was $500 under the ITAR and remains $500 under the new regulations. Every other country has increased from $100 to $500.

Next month we will dive into some more observations derived from our own data.

View: EasyExport Insights April 2021
Download: EasyExport Insights April 2021.pdf


By Jeff Grody and Max Harrison

March 2021 EasyExport Insights™ Monthly Analysis

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Large Sales to Governmental End Users Can Distort Statistics for Individual Countries

Last month, we looked at the difficulty analysts of U.S. export data encounter when trying to identify military exports. As discussed, data in certain categories, such as pistols, do not differentiate between civilian and military exports, making it hard to identify the military component.

The same shortcoming in the way data is collected makes it hard to identify the civilian component of exports in the categories that include both military and civilian exports. But it is easier to miss what is going on if you are looking for trends in exports for civilian purposes. The reason is that analysts of military exports know to look for “lumpy” statistics in individual categories like pistols and ammunition for rifles and handguns – disproportionate bulges in one year relative to the preceding and subsequent year.

Unlike analysts of military exports, who know to look at individual product categories, a casual reader of export statistics is more likely to look at bottom-line numbers. We’re all trained to look at the summary lines in documents, after all, to take in key information quickly. But be careful. Don’t jump to conclusions.

Take a look at Thailand, for example. A quick glance at the bottom line in Table 1 suggests a booming market for American firearms and related products.

March 2021 EasyExport Insights™ Monthly Analysis 1

Analysis of the detail, however, leads to different conclusions.

March 2021 EasyExport Insights™ Monthly Analysis 1

Table 2 highlights seven cells with aberrational statistics that totally distort the bottom line. What appeared at first glance to be a very promising trend isn’t a trend at all. In fact, the distortion is so significant during all three years we cover that it isn’t possible to speculate what “normalized” civilian exports to Thailand are without analyzing a longer period of time.

So, this month’s message is a simple one – never form conclusions based only on the bottom-line numbers in our reports. Always look for outlier numbers in the detail. When you spot them, the chances are good that they will change the conclusions you draw from the bottom line.

View: EasyExport Insights March 2021
Download: EasyExport Insights March 2021.pdf


Let’s (Try to) Look at Military Exports – EasyExport Insights™ Monthly Analysis

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Our Behind the Numbers analyses tend to focus on the civilian side of the international market for American firearms and related products.

This month we will look at exports to military end users.

What does the data tell us about military exports?

– Exports of military rifles and rifle parts are substantial

Table 1 shows that U.S. companies have exported an average of more than $142 million of military rifles and parts annually over the last 36 months. That constitutes about 15% of total exports for the 22 product categories we track.


Table 1

– It is difficult to track military exports of several types of products.

U.S. Schedule B numbers, which are the source of the data we report, do not distinguish between military and non-military exports of certain product categories, most notably pistols, optics, and ammunition. See Table 2.

Table 2 illustrates that the inability to distinguish between civilian and military exports in these four product categories is a significant analytical problem. Together, these categories account for more than half of annual U.S. exports of firearms and related products. Not only is it impossible to quantify military exports of these products, but we can’t see the civilian component of this data, either.

military exports

Table 2

Table 3 drills down into one of the four product categories – pistols – and shows exports over the last 36 months to the top 15 destination countries. The second column from the left shows total exports of pistols during the 36-month period. The three columns to the right break that total into three 12-month periods.

military exports

Table 3

For most of the top 15 destination countries in Table 3, there are wild fluctuations in exports from one year to the next. Years in which exports dramatically exceed exports in the preceding or subsequent year are the telltale sign of a significant military (or sometimes police) component to that year’s exports.

Look, for instance, at exports of pistols to Thailand during the 12 months that ended on February 28, 2021. Exports were more than five times the value of exports in the preceding 12-month period.

Our reports show every month that, even in purely civilian categories, like rimfire rifles, exports fluctuate quite a bit from year to year. But not that much.

Significant international purchases of military hardware from the U.S. tend to be “lumpy”. A buyer will place a large contract and will then expect the products to last a while. Those purchases show up in our reports as big blips in one period relative to the surrounding periods.

Table 3 reveals that, for most of the top 15 destination countries, foreign military procurements of pistols accounted for a high proportion of U.S. exports.

Police procurements, it is worth noting, are also lumpy, but there are many more law enforcement buyers, each buying smaller quantities at different times. As a result, it is generally much harder to spot exports to law enforcement agencies than to military end users.

– Imperfect data can still be useful

Good data enables U.S. exporters to make informed decisions where and how to deploy sales and marketing resources. How can imperfect data be turned into useful information?

One way to use the information in Table 3 is simply to recognize that if you currently export pistols to the international civilian market that are or could be attractive to military (and law enforcement) end users, you should consider broadening the focus of your international sales and marketing activities.

If, on the other hand, your primary focus is the military market, here is another way to use the information in Table 3. Among the 15 countries covered in Table 3, the countries that have big “lumps” in one or more years can be identified as markets that are willing and able to buy U.S. pistols for military (or possibly police) purposes. Select those countries first for further investigation of potential opportunities for military or law enforcement sales. Much more analysis needs to be done, but a case can be made for targeting countries that have a history of buying U.S. guns and related products. Countries that have made significant purchases of U.S. firearm-related products recently are likely to do so again.

Our monthly reports track the top 25 destination countries for each product category we cover, so a look at this month’s report (page 7 of the February 2021 issue of EasyExport Insights) will show you exports of pistols to the next 10 countries after the 15 shown in Table 3.

If you were to do your own data analysis (see page 43 of the February 2021 issue of EasyExport Insights for where we get our data; it is available to you, too), it would be useful to look at historical exports over the last 10 years as opposed to our three-year lookback. Doing so would help you identify additional countries that have purchased American pistols for military end use.

The same approach can be used with some of the other product categories in Table 2. It does not work with ammunition, which, as a consumable product, has different purchasing patterns from equipment.

So, even imperfect data can yield useful knowledge.

 View: EasyExport Insights February 2021
 Download: EasyExport Insights February 2021.pdf




Booming Domestic Firearms Market Crushes Exports – EasyExport Insights™ Monthly Analysis

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If you want to see what happens to U.S. exports of firearms and related products when the American domestic market is hot, look no further than the table below:

Booming Firearm Exports

The table compares the 12-month period that ended January 31, 2021, with the two prior 12-month periods. So, for the most part, it compares 2020 with 2019 and 2018.

The five categories shaded in yellow are completely or heavily military and should be ignored for purposes of this analysis.

Of the remaining 17 categories, which primarily include exports to the commercial market:

  • Exports decreased in 15 of 17 product categories.
  • Exports increased in only two: Autoloading centerfire rifles and spring, air and gas guns.
  • In the 15 categories in which exports decreased, exports dropped from $887 million in the 12 months ending January 31, 2019 to $762 million in the corresponding period ending January 31, 2021, a decline of more than 14%.
  • In the 7 categories with the largest declines, (see table below) exports dropped by 33% overall, from $441 million to $294 million:

Booming Firearm Exports

  • As noted in the table, the largest decline occurred in ammunition for rifles and pistols, where exports decreased by $63 million, from $224 million in the first period to $161 million in the most recent 12 months.

–  What can we learn from the numbers?

What stories do these numbers tell us . . . other than the obvious one that exports of nearly all U.S. firearm products dropped by a lot – 14% — from the 12 months ending January 2019 to the same period two years later.

Why did exports fall?

Is the global market for U.S. non-military firearms, ammunition and related products shrinking? Happily, it isn’t. If one looks back 10 to 20 years, one sees the same phenomenon. U.S. exports go up and down. Today, we’re looking at a snapshot of a down cycle.

Things will turn around. The U.S. firearms market will cool down, product and management attention will be return to the international market and exports will increase again. It has always been that way.

Why is that good enough? Maybe exports shouldn’t shrink when domestic demand rises. Maybe international sales should keep growing, but at a slower pace, when there is heavy U.S. demand.

But why?. . . . Maybe exports should grow just as much as domestic sales in a hot market . . . . Or more . . . . Why is it a given that exports of firearms, ammunition and related products drop when U.S. demand increases? There is no rule that international sales must be down when U.S. sales are up. No requirement that the international sales manager must lose when their domestic sales counterparts are fighting for allocations of the same scarce inventory. No mandate that the international market must be treated as sub-market of the U.S. market.

–  Opportunity

At EasyExport Insights, we scan the numbers every month looking for opportunity for American exporters.

This is what opportunity looks like. There is no reason to think that exports decreased because demand decreased. Demand didn’t drop. Supply did. The products people wanted to buy weren’t on the shelves to be bought. Therefore, the numbers tell us that more than $100 million in international demand for U.S. products in 2020 went unmet.

It’s very easy to respond to the above by saying, “Same as in the U.S.” But it isn’t the same. The U.S. demand that couldn’t be met in 2020 represented growth from the past. Manufacturers couldn’t keep up with growth. In the global market, in contrast, U.S. suppliers couldn’t even keep up with the demand that was already there. That’s our point.

And there’s the opportunity. The numbers tell us all that it is when U.S. demand is highest that the best opportunities exist for strategic positioning in the global market. Can your company build a long-term international strategy to capitalize on that dynamic?


December 2020 EasyExport Insights™ Monthly Analysis

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Have the New Export Regulations Increased Exports?

The most interesting question for the year just ended is whether the implementation of new export regulations for non-military rifles, handguns and related ammunition on March 9, 2020, has led to an increase in exports.

One objective of moving export control of non-military firearms and ammunition from the more restrictive jurisdiction of the State Department to the more exporter-friendly Commerce Department was to help U.S. firearm and ammunition exporters do better in the global market.

Exporters now can obtain export licenses that will cover several years of anticipated purchases by foreign end users, enabling them to ship orders more quickly. Also, after a learning curve, Commerce Department export licenses are much easier to prepare than State Department licenses. In addition, an expensive annual registration is no longer required as a prerequisite to exporting and export licenses are free.

Have these changes produced an increase in exports?

At this point, it’s too soon to tell, probably way too soon, but it isn’t too soon to start looking at the data.

Here is what we have observed so far.

–     Affected Product Categories

Of the 22 product categories we track, the 11 listed in the table below were significantly affected by the March 9, 2020 change in regulations. The products in these categories moved from the State Department to the Commerce Department.

These are the products to study if you want to investigate whether the new regulations have led to more exports:

Firearm Exports December 2020

–     Have Global Exports Increased?

On a year-over-year basis, it isn’t possible to spot growth in the worldwide market during 2020 relative to the two previous years. For the 11 product categories affected by the new regulations, look at the table below:

Worldwide Firearm Exports December 2020

The numbers go up and down from one year to the next with no discernible pattern, as has been the case historically.

This isn’t surprising. There were so many other significant forces at work in 2020. Some of them would have had a greater effect than the new regulations on exports of firearms and related products. For example, the booming U.S. domestic market diverted product and manufacturers’ attention from international sales. Separately, the pandemic made it harder and more expensive to ship, negatively impacting export trade. Also, Canada banned ARs during 2020.

With so many other forces buffeting the global market in 2020, and most of them continuing to do so today, the ability to single out the impact of the new regulations won’t come anytime soon.

Representatives of the Commerce Department presented a slide at an NSSF-sponsored webinar in January 2021 that showed steady month-over-month growth in exports of firearms between March and September 2020. That is a positive sign, but, just like annual statistics, exports vary from month to month for many reasons.

–     Growth May be Detectable in Exports to Certain Countries

It may be possible, however, to discern the impact of the new regulations by looking at specific markets.

At the same January 2021 webinar mentioned above, the Commerce Department representatives listed the leading destination countries in the export licenses they had processed for firearm items between March 9, 2020 and September 30, 2020.

Few would guess that Brazil topped the list. So, we added Brazil to our recurring monthly reports starting with this issue and took a look.

Sure enough, you can spot possible signs that the new regulations are causing trade to grow. Let’s examine the table below.

Firearm Exports to Brazil 2020
Is this evidence that the new regulations helped stimulate trade? Could be. As noted above, Brazil also was the leading destination country, at least during the period measured, for Commerce Department export licenses. It should not be discounted either, that exports to Brazil show sign of growth when the global market as a whole does not.Exports of pistols in 2020 were up 130% from 2018. Bolt action rifles was up by over 600% in the same period. Exports of ammunition for rifles and pistols grew more than 650%.

On the other hand, exports to Brazil of parts for non-military rifles and handguns were down by two-thirds from 2018 to 2020. See the highlighted row in the table above. Is this an anomaly, or is it evidence that the growth in other categories was a fluke?

Another factor is Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro, who took office on January 1, 2019, liberalized Brazilian firearm ownership laws twice in 2019.

The combination of previously unmet demand in Brazil for American firearms, liberalization of Brazilian firearm ownership laws and exporter-friendly changes in U.S. regulations clearly has been good for U.S. export business to that country.

What share, if any, of the growth can be ascribed to the new regulations is anyone’s guess for now. Our guess, for what it’s worth, is that the new regulations are making a difference in the growth of lawful exports of firearms to Brazil.

New Canadian Data (Part 2) EasyExport Insights™ Monthly Analysis

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We reported in our last issue that the Census Bureau has made some important changes to the way it reports exports to Canada in response to our questions and suggestions.

Analysts now have new visibility into four categories:

  • Exports of revolvers have been broken out from pistols and are reported separately.
  • Exports of autoloading centerfire rifles have been broken out from other centerfire rifles.
  • Exports of pump action shotguns have been broken out from other shotguns.
  • Exports of military rifles used to be reported as exports of military shotguns. Now they are reported correctly, as military rifles.

These changes not only allow us to track exports in four categories, but also increase the precision of the categories that previously contained this data.

In our September issue, we identified seven product categories for which exports to Canada were not being reported. So, where are the exports in the three remaining categories?

New Canadian Data Part 2

–     Centerfire – Bolt Action – Single-Shot Rifles

We believe that exports of single-shot bolt action rifles are included in the published data for Rifles – Centerfire – Bolt Action – Other. The Census Bureau does not disclose its exact methodology for converting Canadian import data into U.S. export data, so this is our best guess.

–     Parts for Military Rifles / Parts for Military Shotguns

We have determined that exports to Canada of parts for military rifles and shotguns are lumped together with exports of parts for large guns and armament in Schedule B category 9305.91.3030.

We have no way to segregate rifle and shotgun parts from parts for heavier weapons. Therefore, we have decided not to report on these two categories for Canada. The data just isn’t there.

­–     Concluding Thoughts on Canada

It is ironic and disappointing that the largest export market is the one for which the published data falls short. We have annotated our Canada report (page 27) to address the three categories for which no data exists.

 View: EasyExport Insights November 2020
 Download: EasyExport Insights November 2020.pdf

New Canadian Data (Part 1) EasyExport Insights™ Monthly Analysis

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We are pleased to report that the Census Bureau has made some important changes to the way it reports exports to Canada in response to our questions and suggestions.

–     Revolvers

Exports of revolvers from the United States to Canada were reported for the first time in the October statistics. For the month of October, we see that exports of revolvers to Canada totaled $278,673, as compared with pistol exports of $130,724 (page 27). Looking at the leading export markets for revolvers (page 6), Canada was the leading export destination for U.S. revolvers in October. Our top-25 destination reports rank markets on the basis of 36-month statistics, so it will take a few months for Canada to rise to the top of that report.

We have not been able to confirm that revolvers were previously lumped into the stats for pistols, but that is likely the case. Therefore, those who track exports of pistols to Canada are likely to see what looks like a significant decline in pistol exports to Canada, but which is merely the result of more accurate data for revolvers.

–     Autoloading Centerfire Rifles

Autoloading centerfire rifles is another category for which data is newly available. This month’s report (page 27) shows exports of $348,703 to Canada in October versus zero in all previous months. Even though this amount exceeds the value exported to any other country in October, it is not quite enough to put Canada in the top 25 export destinations in our table on page 7, which ranks markets based on 36-month totals.

It appears that this category was previously reported as “Other Centerfire Rifles.”

–     Pump Action Shotguns

Exports of pump action shotguns to Canada totaled $380,600 in October, the first month for which statistics for this category have been available (page 27). This amount exceeds the total exported to the 24 other top-25 destinations (page 12) but it will take another month or two for Canada to rise to the top of that report.

­–     Remaining Questions

Behind the Numbers will look at Canada again in January. Several categories for which no data to Canada has been reported in the past are unchanged. These mostly include military products.

In addition, we want to take a final look at Canada in January, after the November stats have been published, to see what other insights can be gleaned that should affect the way you interpret the Canadian data in our reports.

 View: EasyExport Insights October 2020
 Download: EasyExport Insights October 2020.pdf

Issues with Canadian Data – EasyExport Insights™ Monthly Analysis

By EasyExport Insights™ No Comments

We have discovered some issues with the U.S. Government export stats for Canada.

If you read or use our reports, please read this column. The Canadian issues are significant. We expect to resolve them, but, until then, you will want to understand them to give proper weight to our reports.

–     The Problem

In EasyExport Insights, we report on exports of 22 categories of firearms and related products. The data we use is published monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau.

We recently discovered that the Census Bureau data does not include exports to Canada in seven of the product categories we track. Not only that, the data that is not included in those seven categories appears in other categories, inflating the exports to Canada in those categories.

The seven product categories that include exports to every country except Canada, and the associated Schedule B numbers, are:

Issues with Canadian Data

Let’s look at revolvers to see the impact. The table showing the top 25 export markets for revolvers (page 8 of this issue) doesn’t include statistics for Canada. Canada may well be the number one market for revolvers exported from the United States but, whatever, the actual volume of exports is, the published data says it’s zero. No exports of revolvers at all to Canada, according to the published data.

We think, but aren’t yet certain, that revolvers are lumped in with pistols, thereby artificially inflating the volume of pistols exported to Canada (see page 7).

So, the published data understates U.S. exports of revolvers to Canada and overstates U.S. exports of another category, probably pistols.

Revolvers are just one example. A similar phenomenon is occurring with each of the other six categories.

–     How Could This Happen?

This issue traces to the way the Census Bureau determines exports to Canada.

In the case of every country except Canada, the published export data comes from AES filings submitted by exporters when their products leave the U.S. In AES filings, products are identified by 10-digit Schedule B numbers. The Census Bureau counts the products and values by Schedule B number, publishes the data and we turn that data into our reports.

AES filings are not used to calculate exports to Canada. Instead, when determining how much product – of any type – the United States exports to Canada, the U.S. Government measures the amounts received by Canada rather than the amounts that left the U.S.

In theory, that shouldn’t matter. The amounts leaving the U.S. to Canada should equal, more or less, the amounts entering Canada from the U.S. They probably do.

But the United States categorizes products one way in its 10-digit Schedule B system and Canada categorizes the same products differently in the 10-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) it uses to measure imports. The first six digits of the U.S. Schedule B product categories are identical to the first six digits of the Canadian HTS codes for the same categories. However, the two systems use very different approaches to assigning the final four digits.

Therefore, when it compiles statistics for exports to Canada the Census Bureau translates the Canadian 10-digit HTS data into the correct 10-digit Schedule B categories.

At least, they try to.

Thinking it would be simple, we attempted to do it ourselves. In a few cases, it wasn’t hard. With respect to the others . . . well . . . after spending hours poring over the numbers, we threw our hands up. In a number of categories, it can’t be done, at least not without making a few judgments/assumptions/guesses. The Census Bureau makes them but we don’t yet know what they are.

Further work is underway. We expect to get to the bottom of this and will report back in a future issue of EasyExport Insights.

–     How to Interpret Our Reports for Now

For now, we recommend that you take the following into account when using our reports:

  1. When viewing our Worldwide Exports table (page 5), you can be comfortable that the bottom row is accurate. Regrettably, until we sort this out, there is a risk that every other number in that table is either too high or too low. We believe that in some instances the errors could be material.
  2. Every bar and dollar amount in the Worldwide Exports graph (page 6) is potentially off, high or low.
  3. In the 22 tables that show the top 25 destination countries for each product category (pages 7-28), take the following into account:
  4. You can take the data for every country other than Canada at face value.
  5. If the table contains data for Canada, the Canadian numbers could be accurate, or high, or low.
  6. If the table does not contain a row for Canada, that’s almost certainly because the Canada data for that product is rolled into another product category. The absence of exports of a product category to Canada does not mean there were no exports to Canada or that Canada was not in the top 25 destination countries.
  7. The bottom row in every table is somewhat off due to the likely under- or over-inclusion of data pertaining to Canada.

–     Apology

We apologize for not catching this sooner. The underlying mistake isn’t ours, but we bring our reports to you in the belief that they are substantially accurate, and we want you to feel comfortable relying on them.

When we began publishing EasyExport Insights in July 2020, we conducted an analysis of the accuracy of the data we use. The results are reported in EasyExport Insights No. 2. We uncovered some minor issues, discussed in that issue, and we did learn that the Census Bureau’s export data for Canada is derived from Canadian import data. We didn’t see how difficult it is to align the Canadian and U.S. 10-digit codes until we tried to do it ourselves.

As noted above, the story doesn’t end here. We do believe it will be possible to bring you better data for Canada soon.

No More Product Spotlight Reports

We have discontinued our Product Spotlight feature. We concluded that our monthly reports on the top 25 markets for each product category do a good job (leaving the Canada issues aside) and that the Product Spotlight feature wasn’t adding much value.

New Zealand Added to Country Spotlight

In this issue, we add New Zealand to the countries we will follow every month. Please see pages 29-30 for the last 36 months of exports to New Zealand for all 22 product categories.

 View: EasyExport Insights September 2020
 Download: EasyExport Insights September 2020.pdf

August 2020 – EasyExport Insights™ Monthly Analysis

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Improvements in this Issue

We have made our first improvements to EasyExport Insights!

More will follow in the coming months.

Ammunition Exports

As promised in our first issue, we have added exports of ammunition to our monthly reporting. In this issue, we begin monthly reporting on shotgun, rifle and pistol ammunition.

The inclusion of ammunition exports in our statistics has a dramatic effect on the overall numbers. During the last 36 months, rifle, pistol and shotgun ammunition collectively comprised approximately 22.5% of annualized U.S. exports of the product categories we cover.

New Country Spotlight Reports

We have changed the format of our monthly Country Spotlight reports.

Starting with this issue, our Country Spotlight reports will consist of a table and graph that provide a deeper look at the performance of all product categories than our previous format permitted.

This month’s Country Spotlight report looks at exports to the United Kingdom. Check them out to see whether the UK presents export opportunities for your products.

In keeping with the format of our other reports, we look back 36 months and present the data several different ways.

The best thing about our new Country Spotlight format is that, once we add a new country, we will update our Spotlight reports for that country every month. In our next issue, we will update the UK reports and add a new country to our recurring coverage. 

View: EasyExport Insights August 2020
EasyExport Insights August 2020.pdf

Small Market or Untapped Market? – EasyExport Insights™ Monthly Analysis

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According to this month’s EasyExport Insights, exports of rimfire rifles to the rest of the world have averaged just over $14 million per year over the last 36 months. (See page 3 below).

What does that number tell us about the worldwide market potential for American-made rimfire rifles? Is the global opportunity really that small or is the actual potential merely untapped?

The table below shows the U.S. share of all sporting rifles (all types and calibers, centerfire and rimfire) imported into the five countries that currently import the most American-made rimfire rifles (see page 11):


Keeping in mind that the data in the table shows imports of all sporting rifles, not just rimfire rifles, what does the table tell us?

  1. Canada is the largest market, but the 60.4% U.S. market share suggests that our products already have a big share of the market.
  2. Australia and France, on the other hand, together import over $50 million annually to Canada’s $67 million, but the U.S. market share is below 20% in both countries.
  3. If Canada is an example of market penetration potential for U.S. products, there may be untapped potential in Germany and New Zealand as well as Australia and France.

Extraneous factors like differences in currency exchange rates and import costs (duties, taxes and other charges) can affect why U.S. products fare well in one market but not another, but the table indicates wide disparities in U.S. market penetration. In at least two countries, perhaps four, there seems to be room to grow.

Consider, finally, that even though U.S. market penetration in Canada is already excellent, the tool we used to create the table ranks Canada at the top of the list for growth potential.

Untapped Potential

Bottom line: there seems to be plenty of room for U.S. products to increase their penetration of select international markets, especially with new export regulations and the coming of ecommerce to international transactions in the firearms industry.

If you’re wondering how to translate international market data into international sales, please see the blog we have posted concurrently with this issue of EasyExport Insights.

View: EasyExport Insights July 2020
EasyExport Insights July 2020.pdf