3rd Quarter 2013


Geographically, the best markets were in Southeast Asia, Turkey, and Japan. Japan grew 15% for the quarter with almost all of the gains in the health sector.



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The lion's share of the remaining export gains were in the health sector. Exports of medical equipment were up about 10% to $884, and total healthcare-related exports gained more than $100 million. Orthopedics were particularly strong, increasing 22% to $270 million. It's interesting to note, and maybe a sign of the future, that Japan, not only the state's fourth largest market but the market with the most aged population, grew 15% for the quarter with almost all of the gains in the health sector.

Other strong third-quarter exports were cellulose acetates, polyesters, whiskey, and cotton. Cotton exports exceeded $225 million through an interesting rotation. Exports to China were off by almost half but were more than compensated for by large increases in shipments to Turkey, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Tennessee's Leading Trade Partners

Several industries, on the other hand, experienced a difficult quarter. There were sizable drops in ignition components, engine, and tire shipments. This suggests that some of the additional car exports may have been at the expense of assembled components. The aviation industry certainly had the most dramatic ups and downs of any of the state's export sectors. Though the industry experienced an overall 7% increase in foreign sales, this included multimillion-dollar gains in Singapore, Turkey, and Brazil and multimillion-dollar losses in China, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, and Nigeria.

Tennessee's Monthly Imports

Geographically, the best markets were in Southeast Asia, Turkey, and as mentioned, Japan. Singapore was at the heart of remarkable gains in Southeast Asia. Exports to Singapore were up 47% for the quarter, thanks to large increases in healthcare-related items and aircraft. Indonesia and Vietnam were strong as well, both nearly doubling their purchases of Tennessee goods for the quarter. Turkey more than doubled its purchases (from $52 million to $123 million), with aircraft, cotton, and optics the big gainers.

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