South Carolina exports rose more than 2 percent last year from 2011, hitting a record value of $25.3 billion, according to U.S. Department of Commerce figures released today.
The state’s growth in that category was the 17th highest in the country.
Gov. Nikki Haley, the S.C. Department of Commerce and the State Ports Authority said the goods were transported to 197 countries around the world.
The top 10 export industries last year were: vehicles; machinery; rubber products; electrical machinery; plastics; optical and medical equipment; paper and paperboard; organic chemicals; wood pulp; and cotton yarn and fabric.
Of the top product sectors, the three with the the largest growth rates were optical and medical equipment, up 19 percent; rubber products, up 8.6 percent; and plastics, up 8.2 percent.
South Carolina ranked first among U.S. states in tire exports, holding nearly 30 percent of the share of U.S. made exported tires for the second consecutive year.
Also, Canada overtook Germany for the top spot as South Carolina’s number one export market in 2012, purchasing nearly $4 billion in products. Germany wase second, wiht more than $3.7 billion in purchases. China remained No. 3, purchasing more than $3.2 billion.
Rounding out the top 10 export markets in 2012 in order of rank were Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.