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Louisiana exports reach $63.1 billion in 2013

Louisiana’s worldwide merchandize exports reached $63.1 billion in 2013, an increase of .3 percent from 2012, according to a report by the World Trade Center of New Orleans. The state’s chief export markets were China, Mexico and Canada, followed by Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore and Brazil. Louisiana ranked as one of the top exporting states in the country, surpassing Florida to place sixth overall.

The news comes after a banner year for U.S. exports, which set a new record of $15.8 trillion, a 2.14 percent rise from 2012.

Petroleum and coal products remained the top exported products in Louisiana, reaching $25.5 billion, a 9.7 percent rise from $23.2 billion the previous year. Agricultural and chemical products followed, posting earnings of $15.8 billion and $9.1 billion, respectively.

“Louisiana exports continue to be driven by investments in manufacturing and refining on the Lower Mississippi River,” said Gary LaGrange, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans. He added that the state continues to “strive to reach the President’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2016.”

By contrast, petroleum and coal were only the fifth highest exported products in the United States, with agricultural products placing eighth overall.

The World Trade Center of New Orleans also noted that Louisiana showed a marked increase in exports to France and Panama last year. Exports to France surged by 121.9 percent from 2012, while exports to Panama climbed 110.13 percent.

Despite doing $8.23 billion in exports to China in 2013, the number represented an 11.57 percent decline from the previous year. A report published by the Associated Press attributed the slow-down to an increased domestic demand from Chinese consumers.

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