Oklahoma exports rise 12 percent in first half of year

More Oklahoma companies are exporting more things to more places, including overseas, experts say.
by Don Mecoy Modified: August 17, 2012 at 1:03 am •  Published: August 17, 2012
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Oklahoma exports increased 12 percent in the first half of this year, outpacing the national growth rate of 7 percent, and the state's overseas sales might be even higher, according to the head of the state Commerce Department's export division.

“We don't have a port of entry or exit, which does hurt us in a way,” said Erika Lucas, director of the state Commerce Department's global recruitment and trade division. “I do definitely believe Oklahoma exports are underestimated because of that fact.”

Oklahoma-made products also get shipped to other states for assembly, and those other states get credit for exporting the finished products, Lucas said.

“We continue to rank No. 1 in manufacturing job growth in the United States,” she said. “That kind of tells you our export number should be higher than it currently is.”

But the latest numbers from the International Trade Administration, part of the U.S. Commerce Department, are encouraging, Lucas said.

Oklahoma's exports in the January-June period grew to $3.4 billion this year from $3 billion in the same period last year, the International Trade Administration said.

Lucas said the state's export growth is coming in every form, as more Oklahoma companies are shipping more products and services while existing exporters are expanding their offerings and moving into new markets.

“Companies are becoming more aware of the opportunities overseas,” Lucas said. “They understand that we're all in a global economy and therefore they need to act accordingly and they're taking advantage of those overseas markets.”

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by Don Mecoy
Business Editor
Business Editor Don Mecoy has covered business news for more than a decade after earlier working on The Oklahoman's city, state and metro news desks, including a stint as city editor. He has won state and regional journalism awards for business,...
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At a glance

Top destinations for Oklahoma exports, 2011

Canada$1.9 billion, 31.2 percent

Mexico$523 million, 8.4 percent

Japan$404 million, 6.5 percent

China$367 million, 5.9 percent

Singapore$169 million, 2.7 percent

Australia$168 million, 2.7 percent

Germany$157 million, 2.5 percent

Brazil$152 million, 2.4 percent

United Kingdom$136 million, 2.2 percent

Colombia$126 million, 2 percent

SOURCE: Oklahoma Commerce Department

Top Oklahoma exports, 2011

Civilian aircraft, engines, and parts5.1 percent

Medical equipment3.1 percent

Swine meat2.5 percent

Pump parts2.3 percent

Electric conductors2.3 percent

Data processing storage units2.2 percent

Cotton1.8 percent

Drilling parts1.8 percent

Tires1.6 percent

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau

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