exports

Flickr/Creative Commons

The Bluegrass State has seen another record-setting year for exports.

Kentucky shipped $27.5 billion worth of goods to other countries in 2014, the fourth straight year the state broke its previous mark.

Joe Hall, with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, says many people would be surprised to know that the state’s leading export category isn’t auto parts or bourbon, but aerospace products.

“Our aerospace products are really diverse,” he said. “We have companies that are making parts for jet engines. We have companies that are making small satellites that are orbiting earth as we speak.”

Kentucky exported nearly $8 billion worth of aerospace parts and products last year—a 38 percent increase over 2013.

The commonwealth’s number one export destination remains Canada, followed by Mexico and the United Kingdom. Kentucky exports to France jumped by 93 percent last year.

Kentucky’s Top Five Export Markets in 2014:

Governor Beshear is leading a Kentucky trade mission to the United Kingdom this Sunday.

The Kentucky Export Initiative trade mission will make stops in London and Manchester. Bilateral trade between the Bluegrass State and the U.K. was near $3 billion dollars in 2013, and the U.K. is the commonwealth’s third-largest trade destination, behind only Canada and Mexico.

Kentucky exports more horses to the U.K. than any other state, and ranks in the top five in exporting aerospace products, distilled spirts, printed materials, and charcoal to the country.

During the five day trip, Governor Beshear will be joined by representatives from 11 Kentucky companies, including Bluegrass Dairy of Glasgow; Oscarware Incorporated of Bonnieville; and Whitaker Tools of Campbellsville.

Kentucky exporters have been on a roll lately. Last year the commonwealth exported $25.3 billion in products, the third straight record year for exports.

Coal mines in Kentucky and West Virginia will send millions of tons of coal to India, under the terms of a 25-year contract that was signed Wednesday. The deal is being hailed as a sign of hope in the coal export market.

The US Meat Export Federation says US pork exports to Japan could top the two billion dollar mark for 2011. The Executive Director of the Kentucky Pork Producers Association says that's good news for some farmers in the Bluegrass State. Bonnie Jolly of Elizabethtown says the export market is boosting the prices farmers receive for their hogs.