Montana's exports reached an all-time record high in 2011, according to figures just released by the Montana Department of Commerce. Montana companies sold a historic $1.6 billion in manufactured products internationally, a 13.4% increase over the state's last record set in 2008.
"We're delighted to see our efforts rewarded so well," noted Webb Brown, President/CEO of the Montana Chamber of Commerce. "The State Chamber has made international trade a focus the last decade, resulting in business success, more jobs, and improved relations around the globe."
The top export destinations in 2011 for manufactured exports remained the same, with Canada coming in first, followed by the Republic of Korea, Mexico, China, Taiwan, Japan and Germany as the primary buyers. Mexico moved up from sixth place to number three with an increase of 61% over 2010 due to their interest in ores and specialty grains. The Republic of Korea maintained its number two position with a 21.5% increase, due mainly to continued strong sales of coal, which is Montana's number one export to Korea.
Exports to Germany saw a 68% increase, due primarily to an increase in industrial machinery exports. Coal exports experienced a 60% increase from the previous year, with $175 million sold around the globe. Korea is by far the largest importer of Montana coal, followed by Spain, Australia, Switzerland, China, and Japan.
Other exports showing strong increases over 2010 are specialty non-bulk specialty grains at 127%, ores at 41%, and edible vegetables (legumes) at 207%.
Final analysis is not complete for the state's 2011 bulk wheat exports, but analysts have pegged annual crop values to exceed $1.3 billion. Traditionally the top destinations for Montana wheat are Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines, with eighty percent of the crop being sent to Asia.
The Big Sky Business Journal
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Billings, MT 59103