For the third straight year, Kentucky's exports set a new all-time annual record. Governor Steve Beshear today announced the new mark of $25.3 billion in sales of Kentucky-made products and services in 2013.
The record represents a more than 14 percent growth in exports since 2012, the second highest increase in the country. By comparison, the average export growth rate nationwide was about 2 percent. In 2012, Kentucky's exports totaled $22.1 billion.
"The fact that we've shattered records three years in a row shows our export initiatives are working," said Gov. Beshear. "Expanding markets by selling domestically and internationally is important to our business community, to our economy and to all Kentuckians. As a result of our hard work, demand for Kentucky products is growing at a rapid pace and other states are struggling to keep up."
Leading Kentucky's export growth is aerospace products ($5.6 billion), followed by motor vehicles and parts ($5.5 billion) and synthetic rubber and resin ($1.4 billion).
Among the state's major industries, the export that accounted for the highest percentage increase in 2013 was glass, up nearly 71 percent from the previous year. Other industries to witness significant gains include communications equipment, and audio and visual equipment.
In 2013, the Commonwealth exported to 198 nations. Kentucky's top trading partner once again is Canada, with $7.7 billion in products and services. Mexico ($1.9 billion), United Kingdom ($1.8 billion), China ($1.3 billion) and Brazil ($1.1 billion) round out the top five.
Kentucky's exports to Saudi Arabia jumped 381 percent. Nationally, Kentucky had the largest increase in exports to Saudi Arabia and is now that country's 11th largest trade partner. The increase in exports to Saudi Arabia is attributable to motor vehicles (up from $38 million in 2012 to $610 million in 2013).
To further expand trade opportunities, Gov. Beshear will lead a Kentucky Export Initiative (KEI) trade mission to the United Kingdom in May. Exports with the United Kingdom were up more than 20 percent in 2013 with bilateral trade between Kentucky and the UK topping $3 billion. The trip will give Kentucky businesses the opportunity to have one-on-one meetings, build relationships to increase sales and explore one of Europe's most established markets. Visit the KEI website at www.KyExports.com
for more information on the upcoming trade mission.
Kentucky's strong network of trade partners has aided companies across the Commonwealth in reaching global markets and promoting the Kentucky brand. In late 2010, Gov. Beshear created the KEI to better facilitate international trade opportunities for Kentucky businesses. Since the KEI's establishment, Kentucky exports have grown by 25 percent.
Information on Kentucky's economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet's "This is My Kentucky" video on YouTube.