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Ivey touts ‘record breaking success’ in exports

Alabama had a record $25.5 billion in export sales last year, Gov. Kay Ivey announced. The previous record was set in 2017 with $21.7 billion.

According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, the record breaking number was funded by “rising overseas shipments of Alabama-made vehicles, aerospace parts, chemicals, minerals, metals and paper products.”

Alabama exports increased in 2022 by 22% over 2021. Since 2020, Alabama’s exports have increased by close to 47%, even during the time of COVID.

The state’s number one export category is transportation equipment – motor vehicles and parts, aerospace products and parts, and ships.

“Our record-breaking success when it comes to our exports is yet another example of the far reach of the ‘Made in Alabama’ brand and a direct result of our incredible companies and top-notch workforce,” said Ivey. “Exporting is a fundamental economic pillar that supports growth in Alabama, contributing economic vitality and spurring job creation across the state.”

The Yellowhammer State’s exports were worldwide with some 196 countries receiving Alabama-made products. The top 5 countries were:

  • Germany: $4.3 billion, a 16% gain
  • China: $3.8 billion, a 10% increase
  • Canada: $3.2 billion, up 3%
  • Mexico: $2.8 billion, a 11% rise
  • Japan: $1 billion, a 42% jump

The rest of the top 10 are South Korea, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Australia.

“Setting a new annual export record is just another example of the economic success that Alabama is enjoying right now,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “Despite turbulence on the national scene, Alabama’s economy is really humming on all cylinders and can keep rolling as a bounty of growth projects bring in new jobs and investment.”

Exports of Alabama-made vehicles approached $8.9 billion last year, an increase of 13% as shipments to top markets such as Germany, China and Canada all rose, Ivey said. Overseas shipments of aerospace products and parts surged 21% to exceed $1.7 billion, according to Department of Commerce data.

All of Alabama’s top-ranking export categories experienced major gains during 2022. They were:

  • Chemicals ($2.7 billion) — up 19.5%
  • Minerals and ores ($2 billion) — up 178%
  • Primary metals ($1.6 billion) — up 20%
  • Paper ($1.6 billion) — up 35%

Christina Simpson, director of the Commerce’s Office of International Trade, believes the new export numbers are positive news for companies in the state.

“Seeing a new annual export record demonstrates the success of operating and producing in Alabama,” she said. “Growth in production from exports means job creation for our communities.

“Export Alabama is here to support Alabama businesses launching into export or expanding to new global markets.”

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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