Export Company Strategy Guide

By Stylesjl

The Export Company is a new addition to Capitalism Lab that allows products produced in Farms and Factories to be sold to markets outside of the in game cities, boosting profits to even higher levels.

This guide will attempt to explain how the Export Company can be used to maximise your profits and how this can be affected by the difficulty level and the business strategy you use.

For a basic overview of the Export Companies see the following page: https://www.capitalismlab.com/export-company/


Only 8 products can be exported at any time via the building of a maximum of 2 export firms.

It should also be noted that there is a limit as to how much of a particular product a client is willing to buy in total, once that limit is reached the client will not make any further purchases and you should move on to another product when this happens.

Difficulty Settings

When configuring the export company settings at the start of the game it is important to consider how the settings affect the difficulty level and why:

Export company settings

Export Deal Duration: This will set the duration of an export deal after it starts. In general a longer time will make the game easier as you can export the same product for a longer time before being forced to renew (if you can).

Export Volume Modifier: This determines the total amount of units of a product that the export client is prepared to buy, it should be noted that the base amount that the client will buy is also affected by the Price and Quality of what you are selling to them. In addition the client cannot buy more than what your factories/farms are capable of producing.

Setting this to a higher level makes the game easier in general as it reduces the need for retail stores to sell the goods locally.

General Strategy

Some general advice for the Export Company:

– When starting the game, build an export firm as early as possible and set the budget to the maximum level. That way you can find potential deals and gain export points as fast as you can. Once you have got the export deals that you want you can then reduce the budget to save money (unless the export duration is short, in which cases it is better to not reduce the budget).

– You can use knowledge points to find an export client immediately instead of setting a high budget and waiting a while for the export deal you want to appear. This is most useful in the early game.

– Choose your products carefully – you can only export 8 at once.

– Export products where there is a large amount of spare capacity or slack in the production of the farm/factory. Never export products in cases where the demand exceeds the supply unless you are prepared to expand production capacity.

– When assessing how much slack you have you should be careful, for example in the case of farms that use crops, the farms often do have excess inventory but it can be very quickly cleaned out by an export client before the next harvest, leaving your other firms starved of resources. This can create disruptive downstream effects – such as if you export both Wheat and Flour the Flour would be worth more money as an export but if all of the Wheat has been exported before it could get to the Flour factory then this will reduce your potential profit.

– You should also export products that have a low per unit marginal cost to produce – the best example is Software which only has the cost of Paper, DVDs and Freight. Another example would be raw materials – the fixed capital costs of the mines have already been paid for, making their products an excellent export candidate.

– Be mindful of the price and quality of the items you are exporting – both of these factors play an important role in how much of your products the export client is willing to buy from you.

– Export companies can make it economically useful to produce certain semi-products. For example suppose you were able to produce CPUs or CCDs but you could not produce Electronic Components. Normally CCDs and CPUs would be a waste of money as no finished products uses CCDs or CPUs without Electronic Components. With the export firm this is no problem, you can just export those products directly. Use the money earned to build your own electronics industry.

– Use the Import Company to your advantage – if you can import cheap semi-products, you could assemble them into a finished product in a factory and then export the products for potentially big profits. A good example would be to import Steel, Electronic Components and CPUs and use them to make Computers for export.

Specific Strategies

Having noted the general strategies for the export company let’s consider some specific scenarios and how the export company can help you:

Farm Export Strategy

For low budget or Survival Mode starts a great use of the Export Company is to export cheap livestock products for fast cash.

Do this by creating two farms and two factories and producing the following goods:



Frozen Pork/Chicken/Lamb/Beef

Beef Patties/Parma Ham

You can create your own Supermarket to sell all of these goods but since you will have a lot of spare capacity at the start you should also add an Export Company and use your knowledge points and high export budget to start selling your products to export clients as soon as possible. In particular prioritise the export of Leather, Eggs, Lamb and Chicken as these will most likely have the lowest local demand.

Semi-Product Value Adding Strategy

As noted in the Import Company guide, a potentially lucrative approach is to import semi-products and use them to create value added goods for export.

The viability of this strategy will depend on what semi products you can import and what products you want to sell. The import guide will offer some examples of what kinds of goods to import and some examples of goods you may need to produce locally (such as Leather).

Add an Export Deal

Software Developer Strategy (Digital Age DLC only)

Export Companies are an excellent way to boost the market for your software, given that software development has very high fixed costs but very low marginal unit costs. Another advantage of software is that since it takes a while for the software to be developed your export company will likely have plenty of time to find export clients for the software you create, reducing the chance that you will need to spend precious knowledge points.

To employ this strategy, build an export company at the start of the game and build all of the software companies you can reasonably afford (don’t be afraid to go into debt, software will pay those debts off quickly once it gets going) and once the software is ready build factories to produce the software for both your export clients and retail stores. Sell the software in as many ways as you can – E-Commerce, Retail, Exports, the bigger the market, the better. If your factories get overloaded, just build new ones.

Any software will do for export, but try to favour software that has intrinsically high demand such as the Operating System. If demand becomes saturated, move on to a new piece of software for export.

Survival Mode

Export Companies offer an important addition to Survival Mode as they help you to break past the ‘Small Market Problem’ that makes this game mode more difficult. By selling resources to export clients you can make more money, which can be used to start other businesses that will grow the city and in turn grow the local market.

However even with exports Survival Mode can still be difficult and so a recommended strategy is to start with the Farm Export Strategy explained above as farms are easy to establish with very little starting capital.

However if possible you should then expand your strategy to use the Semi-Product Value Adding Strategy by importing potentially expensive to produce semi-products. By importing products such as Steel, Electronic Components, etc. you can use these to export high value products such as Computers and likewise you can use the export companies to export certain other high value products such as software even if there is little local demand.


It should also be noted that the Export Company is useless for the following industries:

– Internet and Telecom Companies

– Banking/Insurance Companies

– Real Estate

So if you intend to start with any of those industries then you should not bother yourself with Export Companies.