Governor Robert Bentley on Monday announced that Alabama exports closed out calendar year 2012 at a record-breaking total of $19.5 billion in the value of goods exported, an increase of 9.36 percent from the 2011 total.
The State moved to 22nd in the nation for total dollar exports during 2012 while ranking 25th in 2011.
"This shows that Alabama's economy is continuing to improve, and we are making gains in exporting to countries all over the world," Governor Bentley said. "The products made in Alabama are second to none. We have a world-class workforce. And the rest of the world is taking notice."
"Exports help us create and sustain more jobs," Governor Bentley added. "That's why exporting is a critical component of Accelerate Alabama, our long-term economic development plan."
Alabama companies shipped to 188 countries last year with the top five destination markets of Canada ($3.9 billion), Germany ($2.5 billion), China ($2.4 billion), Mexico ($2 billion) and Japan ($795 million). Canada and Mexico, our North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, accounted for some $5.96 billion or 31 percent of Alabama's total exports. Goods shipped to Germany increased over 30 percent, from $1.9 billion to more than $2.5 billion between 2011 and 2012. Exports to China showed a growth of 3.5 percent, growing from $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion.
The state's largest merchandise export category is transportation equipment, which experienced a 27 percent growth from 2011 to 2012 -- rising from $6 billion to $7.65 billion. Thirty percent of transportation equipment exports were vehicles being shipped to more than 80 countries totaling over $5.8 billion in foreign sales.
Also in the top five of exports in 2012 were chemicals ($2.6 billion), minerals/ores ($1.8 billion), primary metals ($1.4 billion) and machinery ($1 billion).
Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield said total receipts for Alabama's top ten export sectors reached $17.5 billion, or 90 percent of total exports.
"Seeing Alabama exports increase 59% from 2009 to 2012 is one of the most encouraging and impressive numbers we have witnessed in exports," Canfield said. "Demand for Alabama-made goods throughout the world is surging, and we will continue to support our companies in these endeavors."