Issue: 1152 Date: 9/20/2012
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China now No. 1 for exports from metro St. Louis
China overtook Canada last year as the biggest market for exports from the St. Louis region, according to figures out from the Commerce Department Thursday.
The International Trade Administration reported that exports from metro St. Louis climbed 9 percent in 2011, to $12.3 billion. The biggest industries for exports were chemicals, mining and transportation equipment, as has been the case for several years.
What changed was the top destination. St. Louis-area companies sold $1.95 billion worth of goods to Chinese markets, double what they did since 2008. Exports to Canada have stayed largely flat in that time, amounting to $1.8 billion last year. Mexico, South Korea and Belgium rounded out the region's top five partners.
China has been a particular focus of the region's export efforts, with repeated trade delegations back and forth and the now-stalled bid to turn Lambert-St. Louis International Airport into a hub for Chinese air cargo. It would appear those efforts are paying off.
But it's not clear if that growth will keep up amid a continuing slowdown in China's economy. Earlier this week the Chinese government reported that its imports fell 2.6 percent in July. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)