Governor Kay Ivey released Alabama export numbers Thursday showing the state has reached a record of $21.7 billion in overseas shipments of products.
That is up by 6 percent from the 2016 numbers of $20.5 billion. Alabama exports have surged 21 percent since 2011 and 50 percent in a decade, according to the governor’s office.
“We’ve seen Alabama exports continue to expand in recent years, strengthening our economy at home and creating more opportunities for our citizens,” Governor Ivey said in a statement. “The companies sending Alabama-made products to markets across the world are not just large, multinational companies, but also small and medium-sized companies located in communities across the state.
Alabama businesses exported goods and services to 189 countries in 2017. The Top 5 markets were: Canada ($4.14 billion), China ($3.62 billion), Germany ($2.94 billion), Mexico ($2.9 billion), and Japan ($682.6 million). Exports to China and Mexico both grew by 10 percent, while shipments to Japan rose 30 percent.
The state’s #1 export category is transportation equipment, officials said. That category includes motor vehicles, auto parts, and aircraft and spacecraft components.
Other export items include chemicals, papers and minerals.
“With much of the world’s purchasing power located outside the U.S., Alabama companies are looking at markets beyond our borders for growth opportunities,” said Hilda Lockhart, director of the Commerce Department’s Office of International Trade. “Exports enhance the quality of life for all Alabamians and elevate prosperity in the state. Creating jobs through exports for the state’s citizens is key to accelerating Alabama globally.”
Alabama ranked No. 22 among the states in export volume in 2017, moving up one spot from the previous year, Lockhart said. Alabama’s increase of 6.3 percent last year was in line with the overall U.S. gain of 6.6 percent.