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Alabama ports had record $27B in exports in 2023

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(The Center Square) – Exports from Alabama topped a record $27 billion in 2023, according to data released by the state’s Department of Commerce.

That’s nearly 5.9% higher than the record ($25.5 billion) set a year earlier, and 43% above the COVID-19 year of 2020.

“Exporting acts as a fundamental economic pillar that supports growth in Alabama, sparking both new investment and job creation here at home,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a release.

Alabama exports went to 190 countries across the world, landing everywhere from the world’s biggest economies to tiny locations such as the Solomon Islands, Palau and Gibraltar, according to Commerce data. Vehicles, aerospace parts, minerals and metals were among the goods.

The top destinations, as ranked by value, were Germany ($5.1 billion, up 17% from the year before), Canada ($3.9 billion, down 2%), China ($3.8 billion, an increase of 15%), Mexico ($3.2 billion, up 16%) and South Korea ($1.2 billion, increase of 15%). Japan, Brazil, Poland, India and Saudi Arabia were other top destinations, the release said.

The biggest gainer in exports were motor vehicles (a record $11.5 billion in 2023), which were up nearly 28% from 2022. Honda, Hyundai, Mazda and Mercedes-Benz all have plants in the state, and Germany, China and Canada were top destinations.

Transportation equipment, which includes cars and trucks, auto parts, ships and aerospace products, was the top export category with $14.8 billion. Of that total, $2.1 billion was in aerospace products, a 23% gain from the previous year.

Other large export categories included minerals and ores ($2.2 billion), chemicals ($2.2 billion) and metals ($1.8 billion).

A recent report released by the Alabama Port Authority says the state’s ports, both inland at the Port of Mobile, had a $98.3 billion impact on the state’s economy in 2022, creating more than 351,000 jobs and filling state and local coffers to the tune of $2.4 billion.

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