FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2015) – Its global brand growing, Kentucky exported a state-record $27.5 billion in 2014, the fourth-straight year the state has sat a new mark.
The commonwealth is increasing its exports much faster than the United States as a whole.
“Kentucky’s impact on the global economy is significant,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “The fact that we’ve shattered export records for four years running shows our initiatives to help businesses succeed are working. Expanding Kentucky’s market is important to our business community, to our economy and to the prosperity of every person in the commonwealth.”
The record represents a 9 percent growth in exports since 2013. By comparison, the average export growth rate nationwide was just over 2 percent. In 2013, Kentucky’s exports totaled $25.3 billion.
Leading Kentucky’s export growth is aerospace. Last year, the state shipped out $7.8 billion in aerospace parts and products, a 38 percent increase from 2013. Kentucky’s other top exports include motor vehicles, parts, and bodies and trailers ($5.9 billion), synthetic rubber and resin ($1.4 billion) and pharmaceuticals ($1.3 billion).
Among the state’s major industries, the export that accounted for the highest percentage increase in 2014 was motor vehicle bodies and trailers, up nearly 2,100 percent from the previous year. The products are being sold in Canada, Mexico and Japan.
In 2014, the commonwealth exported to 191 nations. Kentucky’s top trading partner is Canada, with $7.6 billion in products and services. Mexico ($2.3 billion), United Kingdom ($2.3 billion), France ($2 billion) and China ($1.7 billion) round out the top five.
Kentucky experienced a significant jump in exports to France. Exports to France grew 93 percent. The increase in exports to the region is attributable to aerospace products and parts (up from $832 million in 2013 to $1.8 billion in 2014).
The commonwealth’s yearly exports have increased 42 percent since Beshear created the Kentucky Export Initiative in 2010. KEI is designed to better facilitate international trade opportunities for Kentucky businesses. Beshear also has led KEI trade missions to the United Kingdom and Canada. Another international trade mission also is being planned.
“To achieve success, we have to be focused on the global marketplace,” said Mandy Lambert, commissioner of business development in the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “We make world-class products in Kentucky, and now the world is taking notice.”