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U.S. Exports of Goods Continue to Grow

Mon Mar 12 2012
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One of the primary tools of the National Export Initiative (NEI) is the U.S. merchandise trade statistics captured by the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau. Examining the trade statistics provides a business with the information needed to make efficient and effective decisions for their export strategy. The statistics may also be used to evaluate the current and historical trends of U.S. exports and imports.

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The table below displays the top five U.S. export commodities (NAICS-based) with the highest growth rate from 2009 – 2011, based on total dollar value in millions. By studying the data, we can see that over that two-year period, U.S. exports of goods have increased 40.2%. Iron ores registered the largest individual increase at 274.0%. Cattle (206.0%), coal (164.7%), swine (152.9%), and cotton (151.2%) completed the top five.

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Using USA Trade Online (, the official online source of U.S. merchandise trade data, you can explore trading trends and market outlook by product and country. This level of market research will help you remain competitive and increase export sales, by determining where there is a market for your individual product.

From the table above, we can use USA Trade Online to find the top trading markets for each specific commodity by year. For example, in the chart below, we have identified the top 10 countries of destination for U.S. exports of cattle in 2011 by dollar value.

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In 2011, the U.S. exported a staggering $210.6 million of cattle to Turkey alone, making it the #1 country of destination for the year. Following Turkey were Russia ($96.1 million), Canada ($44.9 million), Mexico ($32.5 million), and Kazakhstan ($13.9 million). Brazil ($13.6 million), United Kingdom ($12.2 million), Argentina ($10.2 million), Iran ($7.2 million), and Japan ($6.9 million) rounded out the top 10.

Register for a free trial to USA Trade Online today to get started assessing your market strategy. For more information about U.S. export statistics, contact the Foreign Trade Division at 1-800-549-0595 option 4.

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