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Governor Announces Best Year for Alaska Exports - $4.2 Billion

May 12, 2011, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today announced that Alaska’s annual exports hit their highest mark ever, $4.2 billion in 2010, an increase of 26.95 percent over 2009.

“Alaskans can be proud that our hard work and rich resources have brought us to this record breaking year for exports,” Governor Parnell said. “We must continue our promotion efforts around the world to successfully market our state’s wonderful seafood, minerals, forest products and energy.”

Overall U.S. exports grew by 20.97 percent. The state’s 26.95 percent rate of increase in 2010 over the previous year placed it 13th among states and Washington, D.C. On a per capita level, Alaska ranks in the top 10 exporting states.

In nine of the months in 2010, Alaska exports grew by double digits. These monthly increases were seen at various times throughout the year in all of the top exports.

The value of Alaska’s seafood exports was $1.8 billion in 2010, up 12.2 percent, buoyed in part by the best salmon harvest in 18 years.

Two countries accounted for more than a billion dollars of the seafood export: Japan and China. Japan has long been the state’s largest seafood export market and was the largest market again in 2010 at $523.4 million, followed closely by China at $516.9 million. China has been steadily growing in importance in Alaska’s seafood exports and in 2010 was up 23.1 percent.

Korea accounted for $255.3 million of Alaska’s seafood exports; Germany, $128.9 million; the Netherlands, $110.4 million; and Canada, $90.4 million. In total, markets in Asia accounted for 73.1 percent of Alaska’s seafood exports in 2010 while exports to the European Union market accounted for 19.9 percent. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has representatives in Japan, China and the European Union – all markets that have generated significant increases in the state’s seafood exports over the past decade.

The value of Alaska’s total mineral ore exports was $1.3 billion, up 56.9 percent. Zinc prices have fluctuated greatly in recent years, and 2010 prices rebounded considerably over 2009. Alaska’s zinc and lead ore exports accounted for the majority of mineral export value.  Copper ores mined in Canada and exported via the Port of Skagway accounted for $39.2 million of the $1.3 billion.

Red Dog Mine, in northwest Alaska, is the world’s largest zinc mine and accounts for 79 percent of U.S. zinc production. Alaska’s ore exports have traditionally gone to multiple international markets. In 2010, countries importing more than $100 million of Alaska’s ore exports were China, Japan, Canada, Korea and Spain.

The value of Alaska’s precious metal exports, primarily gold, grew 39.9 percent on rising global prices, to $213.4 million, with $209.3 million of gold going to Switzerland and $3.7 million to Canada. Another $400,000 in precious stones was also exported.

Pacific Rim countries and Canada have traditionally been key markets for Alaska’s energy exports. The 2010 combined value of the range of Alaska’s energy exports — liquefied natural gas (LNG), refined petroleum products and coal -- totaled  $418.3 million, an increase of 27.4 percent over 2009.

The value of Alaska’s LNG exports to Japan in 2010 was $366.2 million, an increase of 42.7 percent, reflecting much higher global prices.

Coal exports were reported by the U.S. Census Bureau as $25.4 million, with major shipments to Chile and Japan.

The 2010 exports of refined petroleum products were $26.7 million, down 30.6 percent in a cascading effect remaining from the international economic crisis. Although international cargo airlines operating in Anchorage increased Asia-North America flight frequencies in 2010, jet fuel demand has not yet recovered to 2007-2008 levels. Consequently, less jet fuel was produced in Alaska in response to this decreased demand. The reduction in jet fuel production from Alaska oil led to a corresponding reduction in refined petroleum products for export.

Alaska’s 2010 export of forest products grew 33.4 percent to $117.1 million. The China market moved into the No. 1 spot followed by Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Canada.

The source of the Alaska export numbers is the U.S. Census Bureau. The numbers do not reflect Alaska resources first transported to and warehoused in other U.S. states before export.

Additional information of Alaska Exports is available at: http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_files/charts.pdf or www.trade.alaska.gov. For more information, contact trade specialist Patricia Eckert at (907) 269-7450.

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