N.H. exports fell, but slightly, in 2011

Good news on the international trade front: New Hampshire exports are holding steady.The 2011 statistics from the state Office of International Commerce show only a tiny dip, a 1.69 percent decline from a year ago to a total of $4.3 billion, despite the turmoil in European markets. And that’s after a huge increase in 2010, when exports increased a record 41.7 percent over 2009.”Considering tough economic situations in many parts of the world, we were anticipating a dip in the 2011 numbers,” said Tina Kasim, OIC program manager, “The good news is that New Hampshire companies are doing well with their exports and the drop was less than we anticipated.”New Hampshire exported some $943 million worth of goods to Mexico, the state’s largest trading partner. Canada was next ($648 million) and China third ($338 million.) (In the first month of 2012, Canada was on top, said Kasim.)Rounding out the top 10 countries were Germany, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Japan and France.The top five commodities exported from the Granite State are: industrial machinery, including computers; electronics machinery, for sound and television equipment; medical devices; plastics; and vehicle parts.Aerospace and aircraft parts are ninth, but the state is hoping to give that sector a boost by joining Maine and Vermont in attending at the July Farnborough Air Show in England — the world’s largest exhibition of aerospace, defense, space and security technologies, with the help of a U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Export and Trade Promotion grant.The grant will also be used for a mission to the Montreal Aerospace Cluster in September and possibly a mission to China later this year.New Hampshire companies interested in participating in the trade missions should call Kasim at 603-271-8444. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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