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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

July 14, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Washington exports up in 2013 while Northwest flattens

Last week, I reported on how the region’s exports seem to be performing (very well) through May of this year. Now we have the official trade data for last year from the International Trade Administration of the Commerce Department. Washington clocked in $81.6 billion in exports compared with $75.7 billion in 2012.

The nearly 8 percent gain is healthy but below the 16.8 percent gain shown from 2011 to 2012. In addition to distortions such as big airplane orders in one year, state and national exports are facing headwinds of a slowdown in Asia, particularly in China, which remained Washington’s largest export destination in 2013, followed by Canada, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and South Korea.

Exports to China rose 17.6 percent, to $16.7 billion, even with the country’s heavy debt overhang, slower growth and Beijing’s efforts to make the transition to a consumer economy. But from 2011 to 2012, the increase was nearly 27 percent. Canada represented nearly 9 billion, up 7 percent. But exports to Japan fell 22 percent to around $7. billion.

Transportation equipment (i.e. airplanes and airplane parts) made up 54 percent of the state’s exports last year, followed by agricultural products (12.7 percent), petroleum and coal products (5.8 percent) and computer and electronic products (4.5 percent).

Oregon exports rose slightly last year, to $18.6 billion from $18.4 billion in 2012. The largest export destination was China, followed by Canada and Malaysia. Computer and electronic products (i.e. mostly semiconductors) led with 36 percent of total exports, followed by agricultural products at 13 percent.

Idaho posted nearly $5.8 billion in exports, down from more than $6 billion in 2012. Computer and electronic products (again, jeavy on chips) accounted for the most value, 47 percent, followed by food manufactures (12.5 percent). Canada, South Korea and Taiwan were the state’s biggest export destinations.

Alaska exports also fell to $4.53 billion from $4.54 billion in 2012 and $5.3 billion in 2011. China, South Korea and Japan were the leading export destinations. Fish (50.7 percent) and minerals and ores (33.6 percent) were the big value of the state’s exports.

Monday Reading: BP’s latest estimate says world’s oil will last 53.3 years | Oil Price

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Nadella speaks code

Behind the bromides is this:

Fasten your seat belts

 

 

 

 

 

Comments | More in Pacific Northwest economy, Trade | Topics: Washington exports, Washington trade

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