FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 15, 2016) – Strong exports totaling nearly $7 billion in the first quarter of 2016 landed Kentucky among the top 10 states for growth in sales of goods and services across national borders.
Led by aerospace products and parts, automotive components and pharmaceuticals, the January-March numbers pushed 1.2 percent ahead of the same timeframe in 2015. That performance comes amid shrinking U.S. exports.
Export statistics recently released by the U.S. Census Foreign Trade Bureau and WISERTrade show Kentucky exported $6.98 billion in goods and services during the first quarter, compared with $6.89 billion the same period last year.
“In Kentucky, we are known for making quality products for customers around the world. These strong quarterly export numbers stand as further evidence of that,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. "Kentucky's exports provide global exposure for the many goods and services that our skilled workforce builds, brews, distills, provides, engineers and assembles. Our administration is working tirelessly to provide exporting opportunities for every corner of the Commonwealth so that each community possible can reap the benefits of international trade."
Aerospace products and parts topped Kentucky’s exports by category with more than $2.6 billion in goods sold between January and March, an increase of nearly 23 percent over the first quarter of 2015.
Following aerospace products were motor vehicles ($768 million), motor vehicle parts ($422 million), pharmaceuticals and medicines ($398 million), resin, synthetic rubber, artificial and synthetic fibers and filament ($279 million), and basic chemicals ($192 million).
Kentucky’s first-quarter growth in exports continues an upward trend now in its seventh year. And while the state’s first-quarter figure grew, exports declined nationally by 6.9 percent in the same period.
Kentucky goods and services sold to more than 170 nations during the first quarter, with Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Brazil ranking the state’s top five trade partners. The Commonwealth sold nearly $1.7 billion in products and services to Canada in the first quarter, more than twice as much as to France, the second-most popular destination.
France stood as Kentucky’s fifth-largest trade partner in 2015, but charted a substantial 28.2 percent increase early in 2016 thanks in large part to an increase in exports of aerospace products and parts.
One of the major contributors in that industry is aircraft wheel and brake components maker Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, a subsidiary of French tech giant Safran. The company announced plans in February to expand its Northern Kentucky plant, a project expected to create about 80 jobs with an investment of more than $100 million.
Kentucky’s largest export percentage increases by destination in the first quarter among countries purchasing $100 million or more were: Malaysia (104.7 percent), Saudi Arabia (40.3 percent), Hong Kong (34 percent), France (28.2 percent) and Brazil (18.1 percent)
The largest percentage increases among countries receiving $1 million or more in Kentucky-made products were Georgia (1,365.6 percent), Macao (984 percent), Greece (528 percent), Oman (246 percent) and Philippines (151.8 percent).
Kentucky businesses can learn more about export opportunities and make connections with export markets through the Kentucky Export Initiative. KEI brings together a coalition of business organizations, trade experts and government entities including the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development with a focus on increasing Kentucky exports to create new jobs and diversified markets for the state’s products. Learn more at www.kyexports.com.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. New capital investment announced in Kentucky in 2017 totaled a state record $9.2 billion, spurring more than 17,200 projected new jobs. Information on available industrial properties, workforce development assistance, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other economic development resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.