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S.C. sets export record for 9th consecutive year

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Containerships are docked at the Port of Charleston on the Cooper River. (Photo/File)For the ninth consecutive year, South Carolina has set a record for export sales, totaling $34.6 billion in exports in 2018.

The total represents a 7.5% increase from 2017 numbers, according to the S.C. Department of Commerce, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster and the S.C. Ports Authority.

“We've cultivated a globally connected economy in South Carolina, and last year's export sales total reflects that,” Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said in a news release. “Moving forward, we will continue to prioritize the growth of our international trade footprint and will encourage companies of all sizes to expand their reach into new markets overseas.”

The 2018 report said the state exported products to more than 195 countries and territories, and its total amount of exports ranked 14th in the country.

China represented S.C.’s top foreign market in 2018, making up 16% of exports, followed by Canada and Germany at 11% each. Vehicles and parts made up the largest commodity at around $10 billion in export sales, followed by aircraft at $8 million.

“South Carolina’s workforce continues to have a growing international reputation of producing world-class products,” McMaster said. “I’m proud that our exporters have achieved yet another record year and look forward to watching them build on this success in the years to come.”

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