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Commonwealth has a growing export industry

Kentucky export trade sets new record at $29 billion in 2016

Aerospace, motor vehicles and pharmaceuticals remain state's top exports

Clinton, Ky. 2-27-2017

Kentucky's exports broke an all-time record in 2016 with $29.24 billion in goods and services shipped abroad from the Commonwealth, a 5.8-percent increase from 2015, Gov. Matt Bevin recently announced.

These records show In 2016:

  • Kentucky set a new record for annual exports with 29.2 billion in exports reported. Kentucky exports were 5.8% higher than 2015.
  • Kentucky ranks as the 8th highest state in percentage growth
  • Kentucky ranked 17th among U.S. states by dollar amount.
  • Exports to 199 nations
  • 37.1% of Kentucky's total exports have been aerospace products and parts (all countries). Kentucky's aerospace products and parts increased by +24.3% in 2016.
  • Kentucky's top trade partner in 2016 was Canada with $7.5 billion in exports for the August 2016 YTD.
  • In 2016, exports to France increased by 60%. The vast majority of Kentucky's exports to France are aerospace products.
  • Kentucky's exports of motor vehicle parts has increased by 12% during 2016

Since Kentucky has no direct frontage to oceans or seas, it is remarkable that its geographical position has allowed for direct shipment of such volumes of goods and services to 199 nations.

This feat is based upon (1) crossroads of 5 interstate highways (2) direct access to 4 major rivers (Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland, and Tennessee). This blessing of geography allows Kentucky goods and services to be in the center of 200 million Americans living in 25 states.

Most of the Kentucky export trade came from small and medium size businesses.

Kentucky Exports, Jobs, & Foreign Investment

  • Value of Kentucky goods and services exported during (2016) = $29.2 billion.
  • Kentucky jobs supported by exports in 2015 = 140,352.
    • 94% of these jobs were supported by manufacturing exports during 2015.
    • Jobs supported by Kentucky exports are up by 29,000 jobs since 2009.
  • The 20 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries accounted for $11.7 billion (42 percent) of Kentucky's exports during 2015.
  • Kentucky's exports to the 20 U. S. FTA countries has increased by 54% from 2005 to 2015.
    • NAFTA countries (Canada and Mexico), Singapore, Australia, South Korea, and Colombia had the largest dollar growth during this period.
  • During 2014, there were 4,606 Kentucky companies exporting (all employment sizes).
  • During 2014, Kentucky had 3,655 small and medium sized firms exporting.
  • During 2014, small and medium sized firms exported 30% of Kentucky's total export $ merchandise.

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