2012 A Record Breaking Year for Idaho Exports

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Multiple Idaho industries boast triple-digit increase in exports, Idaho Commerce reports.

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We believe this increase is largely due to Idaho companies openly embracing the exploration of new markets to expand their business.

Recently available data confirms that 2012 was a banner year for Idaho exports across a broad variety of industry sectors. Global sales figures for Idaho products in 2012 broke export records with a total of more than $6.1 billion in total sales, an increase of 3.53 percent over the 2011 annual total. Fourth-quarter 2012 international sales also hit a record quarterly figure of more than $1.9 billion and constitute a 36.75-percent increase over this same time period in 2011.

“We’re very excited to see the significant increase in Idaho’s export figures,” said Idaho Commerce Director Jeffery Sayer. “We believe this increase is largely due to Idaho companies openly embracing the exploration of new markets to expand their business. The State of Idaho is pleased to be partners with the private sector in this effort through market access grants, Governor-led trade missions and direct support from professionals who can help companies open the door to new international customers.”

Top Idaho export sectors for 2012 included: semiconductors, industrial equipment, precious and semi-precious metals, agricultural commodities and processed food, fertilizers, paper and forest products, and personal care products.

“Idaho farmers and ranchers have a reputation for producing some of the highest-quality food available. That reputation combined with Idaho’s tremendous food processing capacity is feeding the world and meeting the growing global demand for superior food products,” Idaho State Department of Agriculture Director Celia Gould said. “The success of our agricultural exports abroad goes a long way in continuing agriculture's legacy of bolstering the state's economy and serving as the lifeblood of many of our rural communities.”

Global sales of civilian aircraft and related parts jumped over 2,000 percent from 2011 totals to almost $531.7 million due to significant fourth-quarter sales. Other categories that saw increases include: furniture and bedding (up 42.32 percent); railway (up 84.68 percent); military apparel and equipment (up 1,333.78 percent); and aluminum (up 122.03 percent).

Canada, Singapore, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, France, and Australia top the list of export markets for Idaho goods in 2012.

One program that is credited for introducing small- to medium-sized Idaho companies to explore export opportunities for the first time was the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant program. In 2011-2012, 48 Idaho companies secured market-access grants to develop global entry projects and successfully enter into new markets abroad. The program focuses on giving small companies – especially those located in rural areas – access to financial resources and targeted opportunities to identify, qualify, and meet face-to-face with international buyers.

For more information about the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant program and Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s 2013 trade mission to Asia, visit: commerce.idaho.gov/international/

For more detailed information about Idaho’s top export products and top export destinations, see the tables attached.

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Megan Ronk
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