Governor Robert Bentley announced today that exports of Alabama-made products totaled nearly $20.6 billion in 2016, setting a new annual record and showing the vitality of the state's manufacturing sector.
Alabama-made products such as automobiles, aircraft parts, chemicals and metals were shipped to 189 countries last year, according to Alabama Department of Commerce's Office of International Trade. The value of Alabama's exports in 2016 rose 6.4 percent compared to the prior year.
The previous annual record for Alabama exports was $19.6 billion, set back in 2012.
"The increases in these numbers show Alabama companies are prospering in the global economy. These exports continue to be powerful growth engines for out state by supporting their communities through job creation," Governor Bentley said. "We will continue to support Alabama businesses as they grow to reach new markets and new customers because when businesses succeed, Alabama succeeds."
Top markets for Alabama-made products in 2016 were Canada, China, Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom, according to Commerce Department data.
Alabama's No. 1 export category in 2016 was transportation equipment, which includes automobiles and parts, aircraft components, and boats, among other products. These exports climbed 15 percent in 2016 to nearly $10.7 billion.
Other top Alabama exports were chemicals, primary metals, paper products and some types of machinery.
"Alabama's dynamic manufacturing base turns out a wide range of great products that consumers in markets around the world want to own, which creates jobs and opportunity here at home," said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
"Setting a new record for exports last year shows that "Made in Alabama' is not a slogan but a fundamental economic pillar supporting economic growth in our state," Canfield added.
The long-term trends for Alabama's exports have been pointing upward. Exports from Alabama companies have risen 48 percent since 2006, according to state Commerce Department data.
The department's International Trade Office offers resources to help Alabama companies enter profitable new overseas markets through frequent trade and business development missions, training, foreign-market information, and international contacts.
"Exports are a key component of the state's economic growth and make for a more prosperous Alabama," said Hilda Lockhart, director of Commerce's Office of International Trade. "It is encouraging to see this continued rise in exports because we know that it is growing jobs and sustaining our companies in a great multitude of industry sectors."