Washington exports soar ahead in 2014

Posted by Jon Talton, July 10, 2014, Seattle Times

Despite uncertainty about the economies of China, Japan and Europe, Washington exports this year are doing well based on numbers through May. They totaled more than $35.7 billion, making Washington the third largest exporting state behind much more populous Texas and California. The data come from WiserTrade of Leverett, Mass.


If that velocity continued, state exports for 2014 would total $85.7 billion for the year. That compares with an estimated $81.6 billion in 2013. At this time last year, the state total was $31.7 billion.


China remains the state’s biggest trade partner, with exports up nearly 27 percent compared with the same period in 2013. China accounts for 20 percent of Washington exports. It is followed by Canada, Japan, South Korea and the U.K. So far this year, shipments to Canada are down 5.2 percent.


No surprise: Aircraft and parts make up about 50 percent of the state’s exports, followed by agricultural products. The more sober lesson of the data is that most exports are stable-to-flat. It’s the planes and parts that keep export growth soaring.


Elsewhere in the Northwest, Oregon exports totaled $8.5 billion and nearly 12 percent growth compared to 2013, a strong rebound. The data track the top 25 exporting states, so we’ll have to wait for federal numbers to see the performance of Idaho and Alaska.

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