Washington state agricultural exports have reached a record pace this year. Measured from between October 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011, Washington exports have broken all previous records. Washington’s trends have mirrored recent national trends. Until a recent string of bad weather, national agricultural exports were outpacing previous estimates and were expected to break several records.
Washington agricultural exports reached $1.9 billion, up from the previously set record of $1.8 billion in 2008. Washington Governor Chris Gregoire praised Washington farmers, stating, “I commend our Washington state growers, who have rightly earned the reputation of producing the finest quality products in the world. Their tireless work to market our products overseas will help spur economic development and job growth here at home.”
Washington’s increased exports are primarily due to expanding trade relations with China and other Asian nations. Food exports to China increased almost 30% from the 2009/2010 period. The massive increase in food exports continues to indicate the importance of international trade for agricultural business. Given its status as an increasingly developing middle class nation, China will continue to be important to American agriculture as a major consumer.
In addition, Washington has benefited from better weather conditions than other parts of the United States. Washington State has avoided the severe wetness of the Midwest, which has prevented plantings, and the flooding and droughts of the South and Southwest.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer