New federal data shows that merchandise exports made in Arkansas increased 14% in the first 9 months of 2011 compared to the same time period in 2010.
The U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration announced that merchandise exports from Arkansas manufacturers and companies grew to $4.3 billion in the first three quarters of this year. In the first three quarters of 2010, Arkansas merchandise exports totaled about $3.7 billion.
Merchandise exports include goods, not services, and is often described as “tangible exports.”
“Companies of all sizes across Arkansas are finding export opportunities, and many more have the potential to do so,” said Patricia M. Gonzalez, Director of the Arkansas U.S. Commercial Service in Little Rock. “If you can do business in the United States, one of the world’s most open and competitive markets, you’re a likely candidate for doing business overseas.”
Gonzalez’s group has conducted several export workshops in 2011, including recent sessions on expanding trade opportunities with Australia, South Korea, Japan, Philippines and other Pacific Rim countries. Recently, the U.S. approved new trade agreements with South Korea, Columbia and Panama.
BREAKING DOWN THE DATA
Nine month data shows increases in exports to several key destination countries.
For the first nine months of 2011, export sales from Arkansas increased by 101% to Australia, 81% to France, and 76% to China. State exports to Singapore rose 68% during the first nine months of the year compared to one year ago, and exports to Mexico were up 22%.
The larger product export categories include processed food products, raw agricultural products, transportation equipment, chemicals, and machinery.
For the full year 2010, Arkansas merchandise exports totaled $5.2 billion, but if the current year’s pace continues, that number could top $5.9 billion in 2011.