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Kentucky Breaks Export Record in 2018
USAgNet - 03/15/2019

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Thursday Kentucky exports reached an all-time high for a fourth consecutive year with $31.76 billion in goods and services shipped abroad from the commonwealth in 2018, a 2.9-percent increase from the previous year.

"Once again, Kentucky's record-setting exports highlight the momentous economic progress we have achieved in recent years," Bevin said. "Our rapidly expanding trade is the result of steps we have taken to create a robust business climate and to market Kentucky excellence to a global audience. The quality of Kentucky-made products is unmatched, and more and more people around the world discover this fact every year. We have cultivated some outstanding international relationships over the past three years, and we will continue these efforts as we build upon our commonwealth's strong and dynamic reputation."

Consistent with the past several years, aerospace products and parts took top-category honors in 2018, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Foreign Trade Bureau and WISERTrade. The industry shipped nearly $12.5 billion in products to other countries last year, a 7.1-percent increase over 2017. Aerospace-related exports skyrocketed more than 60 percent since 2014, when the industry sent about $7.8 billion in products and parts across borders.

Motor vehicles (more than $3.1 billion in exports), pharmaceuticals and medicines (nearly $2.3 billion), motor vehicle parts (about $1.5 billion) and resin, synthetic rubber and artificial and synthetic fibers and filament (more than $1 billion) rounded out the top five categories. Notably, pharmaceuticals leapt 22.4 percent over the previous year. The industry nearly doubled its export totals since 2014, when Kentucky shipped out more than $1.2 billion of pharmaceuticals and medicines.

Canada retained its spot as Kentucky's top export destination, importing more than $7.7 billion in goods and services. France (more than $3.3 billion) jumped to second on the list, with Kentucky increasing exports to the country by nearly 13 percent as compared to 2017.

The United Kingdom (nearly $3 billion), Brazil (nearly $2.5 billion) and Mexico (about $2.3 billion) make up the rest of Kentucky's top five 2018 export destinations. China, after making a drastic leap in 2017 to become Kentucky's No. 4 trade partner -- its first year ever as a top-five export destination for the state -- imported the sixth most Kentucky products by dollar value (nearly $2.2 billion) in 2018.

Kentucky's exports again held up well nationally, placing 17th among all states and Washington D.C., despite having just the 26th largest population in the U.S.

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