Alabama’s 2010 export of goods rose 25.5 percent from 2009, a remarkable rebound during a nationwide recession. The state exported $15.5 billion in goods to countries throughout the world. Nationwide, U.S. exports showed a gain of 20 percent from 2009.
Sales of vehicles, chemicals, minerals and machinery led the export gain for Alabama, which ranks 27th in the nation for exports.
Alabama’s leading export category is vehicles. These products alone accounted for $4 billion of Alabama’s total exports in 2010. Cars manufactured in Alabama were shipped to some 85 countries, an increase of 29% from 2009 to 2010. Other major exports included chemicals which saw a growth of 30 percent from 2009 and posted over $2 billion in exports; an increase of some 72 percent in minerals ($1.7 billion); machinery ($1.1 billion) at 29 percent increase; and paper ($940 million) with an increase of 16 percent.
Alabama exported goods globally to 191 foreign destinations. The state’s leading markets, by far, are the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) nations of Canada (20 percent) and Mexico (7 percent) with exports to these countries totaling $3.155 billion and $1.24 billion respectively. Other top markets are China with 12 percent ($1.935 billion), Germany with 11 percent ($1.784 billion) and Brazil ($662 million) or 4 percent.
Seth Hammett, director of the Alabama Development Office, stated “Alabama’s rebound of exports from 2009 is tremendous for the state’s economy. Exports help sustain and create jobs and it is estimated that over 294,000 jobs were required to produce and ship these goods.”
The Alabama Development Office began an aggressive export initiative nine years ago to help Alabama companies find new and expanding markets. The Export Alabama Initiative has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s TradeRoots program.
The Export Alabama Alliance is comprised of local, regional, state and federal organizations which help companies export their products.
“Growing our companies through exports has so much potential to create jobs,” Hammett commented. Alabama companies have the opportunity to be part of trade missions which will take us to Ireland, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates.”