The reason is that
category_ids belongs to a special list of attributes which can't be used for filtering during export.
Here is where the list is defined:
// from magento/module-catalog-import-export
class Simple extends \Magento\CatalogImportExport\Model\Export\Product\Type\AbstractType
* Overridden attributes parameters.
* @var array
protected $_attributeOverrides = [
'has_options' => ['source_model' => 'Magento\Eav\Model\Entity\Attribute\Source\Boolean'],
'required_options' => ['source_model' => 'Magento\Eav\Model\Entity\Attribute\Source\Boolean'],
'created_at' => ['backend_type' => 'datetime'],
'updated_at' => ['backend_type' => 'datetime'],
* Array of attributes codes which are disabled for export.
* @var string
protected $_disabledAttrs = [
We can't comment out the
category_ids attribute from the above array because it will throw an exception during the query build process.
I think that those attributes shouldn't appear in the filter options in the Admin Panel at least until a proper filter type will be implemented for that kind of attributes.
Hope it sheds some light on why filtering by categories doesn't work during export.