FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 20, 2015) – While national exports are down 5 percent from this time last year, Kentucky’s products continue to thrive in the global market.
Through the first quarter of 2015, Kentucky’s exports were 11 percent higher than a year ago, ranking the state third in the nation for year-over-year export growth. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, aside from Missouri, no other state bordering Kentucky placed in the top 10.
“While other parts of the country are seeing a decline in exports, Kentucky is shipping products around the world more than ever,” said Secretary Larry Hayes of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “This is another strong sign that Kentucky’s economy is strong and continues to grow.”
During the first quarter, the Commonwealth exported more than $7 billion in products, up from $6.4 billion during the same time last year. Top trade partners include Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and France. Exports to Eastern Europe rose significantly. Kentucky exports to Belgium were up 116 percent and to Russia nearly 2,400 percent.
Aerospace continues to be Kentucky’s largest export, but the beginning of 2015 was particularly strong for motor vehicles and parts (up 28 percent), chemicals (up 66 percent) and engines, turbines and power equipment (up 47 percent). The export of cattle was up 3,400 percent.
To boost Kentucky’s exports, the state launched the Kentucky Export Initiative (KEI) in 2010. KEI brings together agencies and organizations to help facilitate international trade opportunities for Kentucky businesses. Since KEI’s inception, Kentucky’s exports have grown by more than 42 percent.
Gov. Beshear is set to lead a KEI Trade Mission to Canada May 25-30. The trade mission will allow nearly a dozen Kentucky companies to build relationships and enter the Canadian marketplace.
For more on Kentucky’s exports, visit www.kyexports.com.