September 05, 2004
"Trade is especially important because it brings billions of new dollars into the state and creates jobs for Alaskans," said Governor Murkowski. "International buyers value the high quality of our resources and our stable business climate."
Seafood sales accounted for a majority of the trade, increasing 20% to $806 million, compared to $670 million at this time last year. Growth in fish roe sales led the way, increasing $50 million over the same time period last year. Combined sales of fresh and frozen cod climbed $34 million, salmon exports increased $16 million and crab improved $8 million. The only sizable decline was in herring exports, which fell $3 million compared to June results from last year.
Margy Johnson, the Director of International Trade for the Governor's office said, "The seafood industry has been buoyed by the Governor's $50 million fish revitalization strategy, which includes direct aid to communities and individual fisherman, funding for economic development projects throughout coastal Alaska, and an aggressive salmon marketing campaign."
"Fish is now exported directly from Alaska to 38 different countries. This confirms that we are effectively penetrating new markets with our seafood products," asserts Mark Edwards, Economist for the Department of Commerce.
Energy products also showed strong growth in the first half of 2004, increasing 37% to $172 million. The category is primarily comprised of light oils used in manufacturing, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and coal. Japan, China, Hong Kong and South Korea purchase virtually all of Alaska's energy exports.
Approximately 400,000 tons of coal is expected to be shipped each year from Healy to Seward, via the Alaska Railroad. South Korea is the primary destination, but a recent test shipment to Chile may bring promise of a new market for Alaska's coal.
Other major exports through June of 2004 include nearly $100 million in fertilizers, $49 million in wood products, $41 million in gold, $27 million in lead and $11 million in zinc.
Japan remains our most important export market, with trade increasing 18% to $519 million in the first six months of the year.
South Korea purchased $277 million in products from Alaska in the first half of 2004, down 13% after a record high last year. China ranked third, with exports more than doubling to $126 million. Cod and crab sales were the largest areas of growth to China.
Canada placed fourth as a trading partner with $76 million in purchases and Germany climbed 83% to land in fifth position. The $50 million in exports to Germany were almost entirely seafood products.
Source of News Release: