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Kentucky Exports Increase Slightly Despite National Decline

Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

Kentucky had a slight increase in exports to countries around the world in 2015, compared to the previous year. The Bluegrass State stands out nationally because even though exports increased by less than one percent, most states decreased their exports last year. That’s according to, a Massachusetts company that collects international trade data. 

Aerospace products are Kentucky’s number one export, by dollar value.

Jack Mazurak is a spokesman for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. He says $8.7 billion in aerospace products and parts were exported from a wide range of Kentucky companies.

“Small businesses that are engaged in extruding a plastic part that may be used on one particular plane, all the way up to multinational names, GE Aviation, GE Aircraft Engine Division. Boneal is another big name. Lockheed Martin has a facility here,” says Mazurak.

Motor vehicles were the state’s second most exported product, followed by pharmaceuticals. Exports from Kentucky last year totaled $27.6 billion dollars.

Canada held its place as Kentucky’s main destination for exports last year. America’s northern neighbor bought $7.2 billion in products and services from the Bluegrass State. Rounding out the top five destinations for Kentucky products are the United Kingdom, Mexico, China and France.“Kentucky’s businesses export to nearly 200 countries,” says Mazurak. “Whether it’s automotive or aerospace or basic chemicals, these products are known throughout the world and it’s great to see there’s a continuing appetite for Kentucky-made products.”

Kentucky increased its exports to Russia by 170 percent in 2015, compared to the previous year, according to It was the biggest spike among the state’s top 25 export destinations.

The Bluegrass State also boosted exports by more than 50 percent to Austria, Argentina and Malaysia in 2015, compared to the previous year.

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