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State’s Exports Increase by More Than 23 Percent

South Carolina Department of Commerce
March 30, 2011

Gov. Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the State Ports Authority today announced the state’s 2010 exports totaled more than $20.3 billion in goods sold to 192 countries around the world, representing a 23.22 percent increase over 2009 totals. In 2010, South Carolina’s 23.22 percent export growth ranked it 17th in the U.S.

“A twenty-three percent increase in exports is only the beginning of what we will continue to see in South Carolina when we work on improving and modernizing our ports system and market our great state to the world,” said Gov. Haley.
The state’s top 10 export industries last year were vehicles, machinery, rubber, plastics, electrical machinery, organic chemicals, paper and paperboard, optics and medical equipment, wood pulp and iron and steel. Of the top product sectors, the three experiencing the largest percentage increase were Cotton Yarn and Fabric at an 89 percent increase, optical and medical equipment at nearly a 73 percent increase and inorganic chemicals and rare earth metals at nearly a 70 percent increase.

“South Carolina continues to see an increase in exports to markets around the world. Both Canada and Germany remain very important trade partners for South Carolina, and China is increasingly becoming an important market for goods made in our state. We look forward to seeing these trends continue in the coming years and the jobs that come with them,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.

Posting a 23 percent increase from 2009, Canada moved ahead of Germany as South Carolina’s number one export market in 2010, purchasing more than $3.17 billion in products. Germany purchased more than $2.9 billion in products. China moved up from number five in 2009 to number three in 2010, purchasing more than $2.15 billion – more than doubling purchases from the previous year. Rounding out the top 10 export markets in 2010 in order of rank were Mexico at number four, the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Kuwait, India and Japan.

“Exporters in South Carolina’s manufacturing and agricultural sectors benefit from competitive deepwater port facilities,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority. “And export growth generates jobs in the maritime industry and across the state.”

Of the top 20 countries, three of South Carolina’s most impressive growth markets in 2010 were Kuwait, which saw a more than 3,000 percent increase in exports, China at a nearly 149 percent increase and South Korea at a more than 83 percent increase.

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