FRANKFORT — For the third straight year, Kentucky’s exports set a new all-time annual record.
Gov. Steve Beshear on Thursday announced the new mark of $25.3 billion in sales of Kentucky-made products and services in 2013.
The record represents a more than 14 percent growth in exports since 2012, the second highest increase in the country.
By comparison, the average export growth rate nationwide was about 2 percent. In 2012, Kentucky’s exports totaled $22.1 billion.
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“The fact that we’ve shattered records three years in a row shows our export initiatives are working,” Beshear said in a news release. “Expanding markets by selling domestically and internationally is important to our business community, to our economy and to all Kentuckians. As a result of our hard work, demand for Kentucky products is growing at a rapid pace and other states are struggling to keep up.”
Leading Kentucky’s export growth is aerospace products ($5.6 billion), followed by motor vehicles and parts ($5.5 billion) and synthetic rubber and resin ($1.4 billion).
Among the state’s major industries, the export that accounted for the highest percentage increase in 2013 was glass, up nearly 71 percent from the previous year. Other industries with significant gains include communications equipment and audio and visual equipment.
In 2013, the state exported to 198 nations. Kentucky’s top trading partner again is Canada, with $7.7 billion in products and services. Mexico ($1.9 billion), the United Kingdom ($1.8 billion), China ($1.3 billion) and Brazil ($1.1 billion) round out the top five.
Kentucky’s exports to Saudi Arabia jumped 381 percent. Nationally, Kentucky had the largest increase in exports to Saudi Arabia and is now that country’s 11th-largest trade partner. That increase is attributable to motor vehicle exports, up from $38 million in 2012 to $610 million in 2013.