Posted: Feb 19, 2013 8:42 AM by Jay Kohn - MTN News
HELENA - New figures from the state Department of Commerce offer new insight into Montana's top commodity exports and exactly where those exports end up.
State commerce officials say the figures show "international" commodity exports remain steady, with 2012 exports equaling Montana's all-time record of $1.6 billion set in 2011.
The 2012 figure is a 13% increase over the state's last record set in 2008. And overall, Canada remains the state's top export destination, followed by Republic of Korea and China.
Belgium moves up from ninth to fourth place, due to that country's interest in Montana pharmaceutical commodities. Taiwan rounds out the top five.
Coal and petroleum are among Montana's top exports, behind wheat, which remains number one. Montana coal and oil exports increased 6% over 2011, totaling nearly $400 million.
The Republic of Korea is the largest importer of Montana coal, followed by Switzerland, China, Taiwan, and Australia.
The final analysis is not yet complete for the state's 2012 bulk wheat exports. But in 2011, Montana sent 116.4 million bushels of wheat to exporting facilities in the U.S., totaling over $881 million.
Japan is traditionally the top export destination for Montana wheat, with secondary markets being Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
Roughly 80% of all Montana wheat is exported to Asia.