Business & Real Estate

State exports stay strong despite slowing ag shipments

Despite adverse economic conditions and political turmoil in some markets abroad, California’s export trade sector turned in another strong month in September.

In-state businesses shipped merchandise valued at $14.44 billion in September, up about 4.5 percent from $13.81 billion in September 2013, according to an analysis of Tuesday’s U.S. Commerce Department figures by Beacon Economics, a consulting firm with Bay Area and Los Angeles offices.

State exports of manufactured goods, led by shipments of aerospace products, rose 5.1 percent from September 2013, to $9.5 billion. However, exports of non-manufactured goods (chiefly agricultural produce and raw materials) were basically the same as last year, which analysts called a byproduct of the state’s bone-dry conditions.

“With each passing month, we are seeing mounting evidence of the adverse impact the drought is having on California’s multibillion-dollar agricultural export trade,” said Jock O’Connell, Beacon’s international trade adviser.

On the import side, California took in $35.45 billion in goods in September, up 7.7 percent from $32.91 billion in September last year. Because some goods entering California ports and airports go to other states, exports are considered a more accurate measure of trade health.

Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.