Federal numbers show significant increase in value of Alaska's exports in 2006
February 23, 2007
"Alaskans have been first-rate at international trade for decades," said Governor Palin. "I applaud the hard-working Alaskans who help our economy at home, and other economies around the world, through trade."
In 2006, the value of Alaska's seafood exports topped $2 billion for the first time, a 2.8 percent increase from the previous year. Although Alaska seafood exports to Japan declined 12.3 percent, Japan is still the state's single largest seafood market at $725 million. Alaska seafood exports to other countries include an 8.4 percent increase to Korea to $356 million, a 33.7 percent increase to China to $323 million, and a 24.1 percent increase to Germany to $202 million.
Alaska's 10-year trend toward diversification of international seafood markets continues. In 2006, Asian markets accounted for $1.5 billion of Alaska's seafood export value and Europe accounted for $461 million. Ten years ago, Asia accounted for almost all of the state's seafood exports. The high increases in seafood exports to China are attributable primarily to China's reprocessing activity for re-export; Alaska seafood is also available on a retail basis in a growing number of Chinese cities. Korea plays an important role in brokering Alaska seafood to other international markets. Germany's increased use of Alaska seafood is linked to the value the market places on health, food traceability, and fisheries management.
High world market prices helped to more than double the value of Alaska's mineral ore exports to $1.1 billion in 2006, a record high for the state. The value of ore exports ranks second behind seafood in Alaska's total exports. Alaska is home to Red Dog, the world's largest zinc mine. Ore shipments went to Canada, Korea, Japan, Spain, Belgium, China, Australia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Switzerland.
Fertilizer exports are third on the list of Alaska's 2006 exports at $163 million, down 40 percent from 2005. The decrease is linked to diminishing known reserves of Cook Inlet natural gas and increased demand in Alaska for residential and commercial use. Fertilizer is exported from Alaska to Korea, Mexico, Chile, and Columbia.
The value of Alaska's 2006 exports of precious metals, primarily gold, also increased, up 30.1 percent to $110 million. Alaska's gold exports go mostly to Switzerland.
The value of Alaska's 2006 exports of forest products was $111 million, down 15.8 percent. The majority of the forest products' exports are to Korea, Japan and China.
The value of Alaska's 2006 energy exports decreased 21.4 percent to $263 million. Alaska's liquefied natural gas exports to Japan rose in value to $160 million; refined petroleum product exports declined to $93 million; and coal exports declined to $10 million.
"We not only have abundant and diverse natural resources, Alaskans also have the expertise needed to develop resources," said Governor Palin. "When we think about exports and international relations, we also need to thank the Alaskans who work to promote the visitor industry and who work at the state's international ports and airports."
The source of the Alaska's numbers is the U.S. Census Bureau. As in past years, the export numbers do not reflect Alaska's resources transported to other U.S. states, warehoused, and then exported.
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