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Kansas posts record $12.47 billion in 2008 exports

Kansas businesses exported $12.47 billion worth of products in 2008, up 22.2 percent from the previous year.

It marks the fourth year of record-setting exports, the Kansas Department of Commerce said.

The largest export industry for the state is aircraft, which increased exports in 2008 by $862 million, or 28 percent.  It was the largest in increase of any export industry.   The state’s cereals industry, which ranks third in exports, grew its exports by $444 million, or a 56 percent increase.

The vehicle segment grew 44 percent, animal feed grew 25 percent, optics grew 27 percent and electrical machinery grew 27 percent.

Although last year set a record for exports, the state started to feel the affect of the economic downturn midway through the year. Exports peaked at $1.3 billion per month in June before beginning a downward slide, with December exports totaling $791 million.