Cities: Skylines 2 Exports Guide

Export Surplus items and Services to Earn money.

One way to make money in Cities Skylines 2 is by exporting excess material. Once you have a steady production and export of anything like water, electricity, and goods, you will succeed in progressing with a thriving city.

If you have no clue how to step into the export world, don’t worry, as I will help you learn how to do so.

How Export Works in Cities: Skylines 2

To check this excess or lack of the item, click on the economy icon and open the Production tab. This will reveal all the items you can produce and if there is a demand for more or you have excess.

To have a proper export system, you need a cargo route that takes items to the outside world bordered by the dotted line at the edge of the tiled area. The vehicles used for export or import are stationed at cargo stops where the extra produce is stored. Here are the four ways you can start your trading.

By trucks. Trucks use roads to travel to the outside world by using the highway you get access to at the beginning of the game. If you later require more roads, you can use this or other routes to lead trucks to the end of the map.

By Rail. Rails can go as far as the railway tracks are, which is required to reach the end of the map for export. You will need a cargo train terminal so products can be stored and taken for export.


By Ship. Cargo export by ship can be taken to faraway places and form a connection with other cities across the waters. Build a seaway to the edge of the map and let the boat do its job.

By Plane. To have a working cargo plane system, you must first have an airport with a cargo terminal upgrade. This will allow the transportation of goods. From the airport, you’ll need to make an export route for the plane to take to the outside world and start transportation for export.

What Can You Export in Cities: Skylines 2

From the production tab, you can see the list of all the materials available. All of these are categorized according to their use and production means. You can export these items if you have more than the city’s demand.

Raw Materials

ItemNeeded forUsed in
OreMetalsGlass, Machinery, and Vehicles.
Coal and MetalsSteelMachinery
RockMineralsChemicals and Electronics.
Metals and SteelMachineryIndustry
Crude Oil and GrainPetrochemicalsConsumers, Electricity, Heating, Plastics, and Textiles.
Crude Oil and MineralsChemicalsConsumers, Pharmaceuticals, and Plastics.
Chemicals and PetrochemicalsPlasticsConsumers, Electronics, and Vehicles.
ChemicalsPharmaceuticalsConsumers, Healthcare, and Deathcare.
Minerals and PlasticsElectronicsConsumer Services, Software Services, and Telecom.
Metals and PlasticsVehiclesConsumers
Grain and VegetablesBeveragesConsumers Retail Entertainment
Grain and LivestockConvenience FoodConsumers
Livestock and VegetablesFoodConsumers, Fire & Rescue, Retail Lodging, and Retail Meals.
Cotton, Livestock, and PetrochemicalsTextilesConsumers
WoodTimberUpkeep, Furniture, and Paper.
TimberPaperConsumers and Offices.
TimberFurnitureConsumers and Offices.

Immaterial goods

Immaterial goods are divided into two categories: office use and commercial use. Office use items are software that needs electricity to function and benefit the city. They are exported in the form of electricity or power.

ItemResourceUsed In
 ElectronicsSoftware Industry, Offices Services, Financial Services, Media Services, and Telecom.
 Electronics and  SoftwareTelecom Consumers, Industry, Offices.
 SoftwareFinancial Consumers, Industry, Offices.
 SoftwareMedia Consumers.

The commercial use includes food and beverages for daily use.

ItemNeeded forUse
 Food Lodging Consumers
 Food Meals Consumers
 BeveragesEntertainment Consumers

How to Export Water

Exporting water is one of the easier ways to earn money from exports. For that, here’s how you can make a water system that can cover your city’s demand and also be used for export.

  • Place a water pump on the edge of the land so that it is half over the water. This is the required position for every water pump. Also, make sure it’s by a road or connect it using roads so it’s wired in.
  • Go to tiles and buy them until you reach the end of the playable map. It can be in a straight line from any side. The position doesn’t matter except that the map should end with a dotted line.
  • Now select the water pipe and connect it to the water pump.
  • Once connected, take to the edge of the map. Once you reach the end dotted line, you’ll see the double-head arrows. This confirms that once installed, the pipe will have an outside connection. 

Once the connection is made, look at the Revenues under the Budget tab. After a while, you’ll notice that you are now exporting water. 

How to Export Electricity/Power in Cities Skylines 2

Before you export Power, you need to have enough for your city and then some to spare. Once you have enough energy to export, start the process.

First, select the connected area where you can place a transformer

Then connect a form of electricity supply or generator to it. You can use a wind turbine, for example, and make electricity from it. If you already have some, connect them to this transformer.

Connect everything with an electricity line if not done already. This is done underground, so you need to make the line and ensure it connects.

Then go to the Electricity menu in Cities: Skylines 2 and select the power line. Starting from an existing power line, connect it to the new transformer.

This will now start the process of exporting, and you can check it on the Electricity Trade meter. If the needle moves, this means the connection was successful. 

To be sure about the working of the electricity, find and click the City Economy button and study the Budget tab. Once here, go to the Service tab, and here you’ll notice the exports. Check if it’s working properly, and you are good to go.

Unlike wind turbines, if you plan to use a coal station, you may need other resources, including water, sewage system, etc. If you create a pretty large city, a coal station could be a better option for you. 

Once the system is set, it will bring in money in exchange for the extra electricity produced by your city.

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Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...