Montana Exports Hit Record High Last Year

By Beacon Staff

HELENA — The Montana Department of Commerce says state exports reached a record high in 2011.

The agency reported Friday that Montana companies sold $1.6 billion in manufactured products internationally. That is a 13 percent increase over the previous high set in 2008.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer says that increasing exports results in more jobs in Montana.

The figures include a 60 percent increase in coal exports to Korea, Spain, Australia and other countries. Metal ore exports were up 41 percent.

Overall, the top countries for Montana manufacturing exports were Canada, Korea, Mexico, China and Taiwan.

The category does not include Montana’s largest export item, bulk wheat, which is calculated separately.