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Louisiana breaks export record, up 3.4% in first half

3rd September 2013   ·   0 Comments

New Orleans, LA – Louisiana is outperforming itself from previous years in worldwide ex­ports, according to a report released by the World Trade Center of New Orleans.

The state has seen an increase of 3.4 percent in worldwide exports for the first six months of 2013 compared to the same period in the previous year. The overall value of Louisiana’s exports totaled $29 billion, breaking all previous records held by the state for this same period.

Exports for all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia totaled $780 billion, a 1 percent increase over the same period in 2012. Louisiana’s ranking slipped to number 8 at the close of Q2 2013 down from number 5 in Q1 2013. However, this should be of little concern as Louisiana’s exports are at record-breaking levels over the same period last year.

Dominik Knoll, Chief Executive Officer of the World Trade Center of New Orleans said “Again these latest numbers show Louisiana’s strong growth in exports. We are especially excited about the sustained growth in Primary Metal Manufacturing and Machinery (except electrical). These industries are key players in our plans to increase local manufacturing.”

Top Ten Markets
Louisiana’s principal export markets through the second quarter were Mexico ($3.26 billion), China ($2.58 billion), and Singapore ($1.53 billion), followed by Japan, Canada, Brazil, the Netherlands, Panama, Egypt, and France. Chile and Colombia were edged out of Louisiana’s Top 10 export markets in the first half of 2013 by France and Panama, who were previously ranked 16th and 18th respectively over the same period last year.

The strongest Q2 growth in Louisiana export markets were Panama (Up 112.37 percent, an in­crease of $484 Million, Singapore (Up 44.25 percent, an increase of $469 Million), and France (Up 34.16 percent, an increase of $187 Million). Contrastingly, the largest declines in exports were represented by the Netherlands (Down, 38.66 percent), Egypt (Down, 17.04 percent), China (Down 16.83 percent), and Japan (Down 15.61 percent).

A spokesperson from the Consulate General of Japan in Nashville, Tenn., said “Grains, especially corn, account for approximately 80 percent of total exports from La. to Japan. We think that various factors, including grain price increases from the drought damage in the U.S. last year, seem to have affected the state’s exports to Japan.”

The consulate office also pointed out that non-agricultural goods have been growing in recent years, noting that between 2009 and 2012, the non-agricultural portion of Louisiana’s exports to Japan has grown, both in value and percentage.

Petroleum and Coal Products, Food and Kindred Products seeing sustained growth; Agri­culture Products decrease
Petroleum and Coal Products, Agriculture Products, and Chemi­cals were Louisiana’s best performing industries in Q2 2013 YTD when compared to the same period in 2012.

Total exports of Petroleum and Coal Products as of Q2 2013 YTD were $11.74 billion. Primary markets for these products were Mexico, Singapore, and the Netherlands, followed by Gibraltar (UK) and France. Most notably, Louisiana’s exports of Petroleum and Coal Products increased substantially to markets such as Peru (Up 233.24 percent), Ecuador (Up 172.50 percent) followed by Panama (Up 73.88 percent) and Mexico (Up 66.80 percent).

“These increases most likely relate to increased shipments of refined products, primarily diesel fuel.” said Eric Smith, Associate Director, Tulane Energy Institute and Chair of the WTC New Orleans Energy Committee. “The high export demand is being caused by improving economic conditions in some of these countries, higher costs for the Brent based crude used by their refineries vs. the heavy sour crudes used by Gulf Coast refineries and lastly, the negative effects of deferred maintenance on local refining capacity.”

Louisiana’s exports of Food and Kindred Products increased by 22.96 percent in Q2 2013 YTD over the same period in 2012, however exports of Louisiana’s second largest export industry, Agriculture Products, receded by 19.72 percent. Jerry Hingle, Executive Director, Southern United States Trade Association notes that “Corn and soybean exports fell due to short supply here in the U.S. and an uptick in supply on the global market” he adds. “But the great news is that our rice exports as well as shipments of high-value commodities such as poultry and forest products are growing sharply. For the U.S. as a whole, agriculture exports are expected to reach an all-time record this year.”

Zhandra Marin, Trade Services Director, World Trade Center of New Orleans said “Although the export of Louisiana’s agricultural products is considered to be declining, the Trade Service Department has observed a continuous interest in exporting locally grown goods to the Caribbean and Africa.”

That import procedures, as well as the relevant food regulations, tariffs and duties are quite favorable for U.S. products. In fact, Louisiana’s producers should factor in all the available programs and benefits to export and jump into the world of exporting; it really is easier than it sounds.”

The WTC report covers the exports of both Louisiana-originating products and some major commingled bulk commodities (especially grain and coal) that are produced in other states, shipped abroad from Louisiana’s ports, and recorded as Louisiana exports because of Department of the Census standards used to calculate exports.

Trade reports that provide information on 32 industry categories of Louisiana exports (NAICS) to more than 230 countries worldwide, as well as export totals of other U.S. states, are available on the WTC website at www.wt­

This article originally published in the September 02, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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