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Ag products take over top spot in Kansas exports in 2013

Author: Kristy

Agriculture surpasses aircrafts in 2013

Kansas grows or makes plenty of things that are popular around the world, from steaks to GPS systems.

Dan Voorhis, The Wichita Eagle | March 2, 2014

The old saying “thank a farmer” was never truer in Kansas than last year.

Although squarely in the middle of the country, Kansas has long relied on international trade to bolster its economy. It grows or makes plenty of things that are popular around the world, from steaks to GPS systems.

But last year was different. The state’s biggest trade product for years has been aircraft and aircraft parts made in Wichita. But the worldwide market for the small corporate jets and general aviation aircraft made in Wichita has been in a near depression since 2009.

Although the state last year exported more than $2.1 billion worth of transportation equipment, which includes aircraft, that was the least amount in five years and less than half the $4.9 billion it shipped in 2008, according to the U.S. International Trade Administration.

For the first time in years, transportation equipment became the state’s second most valuable export, landing behind agricultural products.

The state’s farmers and agribusinesses exported $2.6 billion worth of goods in 2013, 20 percent of all of the state’s exports by value.

Soybean exports to China likely drove much of the increase. According to the International Trade Administration, the export of Kansas crops to China rocketed from $1.7 million in 2009 to $836 million in 2013. Kansas was part of a record U.S. soybean export crop, the biggest portion of which went to China.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that U.S soybean exports will remain on a record pace throughout 2014. In addition, corn prices have fallen steeply and supplies are ample because of a big harvest, making it more likely for stronger international trade.

 

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