Alabama shatters export record at $20.6 billion in 2016

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Alabama’s exports broke an all-time record in 2016 with $20.6 billion in goods and services shipped abroad from the Yellowhammer State, a 6.4-percent increase from 2015.

The total exceeds the state’s previous annual export record of $19.58 billion, set in 2012.

Alabama-made products such as automobiles, aircraft parts, chemicals and metals were shipped to 189 countries last year, according to Alabama Department of Commerce’s Office of International Trade.

“The increases in these numbers show Alabama companies are prospering in the global economy. These exports continue to be powerful growth engines for out state by supporting their communities through job creation,” said Governor Robert Bentley. “We will continue to support Alabama businesses as they grow to reach new markets and new customers because when businesses succeed, Alabama succeeds.”

Alabama shipped goods across the globe to reach 2016’s record total, with their top export markets in Canada, China, Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom, according to Commerce Department data. Among the many shipped goods, transportation equipment — which includes automobiles and parts, aircraft components, and boats, among other products — was the number one export category. These exports climbed 15 percent in 2016 totaling nearly $10.7 billion.

Other top Alabama exports were chemicals, primary metals, paper products and some types of machinery.

“Alabama’s dynamic manufacturing base turns out a wide range of great products that consumers in markets around the world want to own, which creates jobs and opportunity here at home,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“Setting a new record for exports last year shows that ‘Made in Alabama’ is not a slogan but a fundamental economic pillar supporting economic growth in our state,” Canfield added.

According to state Commerce Department data, 2017 is poised to be another great year for Alabama exports, as exports from Alabama companies have risen 48 percent since 2006, and are expected to continue to rise in the future.

“Exports are a key component of the state’s economic growth and make for a more prosperous Alabama,” said Hilda Lockhart, director of Commerce’s Office of International Trade.  “It is encouraging to see this continued rise in exports because we know that it is growing jobs and sustaining our companies in a great multitude of industry sectors.”

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