Washington's agriculture exporters had a banner year in 2007, topping $9.3 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. That's a 38 percent jump from 2006.
The dramatic increase in exports was a result of the strong yields by Washington growers, high commodity prices, the low U.S. dollar that made U.S. products more attractive to international buyers and weather in other parts of the world that drove down production of similar commodities.
"Export sales are increasingly important to the bottom line of Washington's farmers and ranchers," says Valoria Loveland, director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture in Olympia.
In 2007, the value of agricultural products exported from Washington includes:
♦ Wheat, $1.3 billion;
♦ Apples, cherries and other fruit, $783 million;
♦ Fish and seafood, $617 million;
♦ Processed foods, $559 million;
♦ Dairy products, $399 million;
♦ Hay, $294 million;
♦ Vegetables, $225 million;
♦ Prepared meat/fish/etc., $215 million;
♦ Meat $162 million.
The dollar value of exports to seven of the eight leading destinations increased significantly. The leading destinations for these food and agricultural products (excluding soybeans and corn) were:
♦ Japan, $1.05 billion;
♦ Canada, $965 million;
♦ Mexico, $286 million;
♦ Philippines, $276 million;
♦ Taiwan, $268 million;
♦ Korea, $231 million;
♦ Indonesia, $222 million;
♦ China, $206 million.
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