Aviation and other key manufacturing sectors in Kansas saw significant gains in exports in 2014, according to the latest figures from the Kansas Department of Commerce. Pharmaceuticals also showed increases in exports. Ag exports on the other hand, saw steep declines in value, with the largest drops coming in oil seeds, cereals, raw hides, skins and leather and food industry residues.
Kansas exports totaled $12 billion in 2014. In 2013, the state’s export total of $12.46 billion was the largest number posted since the Great Recession. While exports declined by 3.7 percent in 2014, the $12 billion total is the third highest annual export value in Kansas history.
Kansas manufacturers experienced an exceptional year for exports in 2014. Exports of aircraft and parts grew by $255 million (14 percent), while vehicles and parts grew by $122 million (39 percent) and electric machinery exports increased by $76 million (nine percent).
“Kansas exports topped $12 billion for only the third time in our state’s history,” said Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George. “Our state experienced strong export growth in manufacturing and bioscience areas. The increase in aviation exports is particularly encouraging. After years of decline following the Great Recession, the general aviation market is improving, and Kansas’ great manufacturers are capitalizing on emerging opportunities.”
Kansas exporters outpaced their competition in neighboring states. In the five-state region that includes Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma, the average export value was $9.74 billion, which is $2.26 billion less than the Sunflower State.
Canada continues to be Kansas’ largest export market, accounting for $2.53 billion and 21 percent of total exports. Mexico passed China as Kansas’ second largest export market. Exports to Mexico grew by more than $250 million in 2014, an increase of 16.34 percent from the previous year.
The Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors has worked to increase Kansas exports through a statewide comprehensive plan, and the Kansas Department of Commerce has partnered with Kansas Global Trade Services to work with companies throughout the state to promote exporting.