N.C. ag exports top $3 billion

North Carolina exported $3.1 billion worth of agricultural products in 2008, a 51 percent increase over the previous year. It is the first time N.C. ag exports have topped the $3 billion mark.

“Agricultural exports are important to North Carolina’s economy,” said Steve Troxler, NC Agriculture Secretary. “They help boost farm prices and income and support more than 24,000 jobs, both on the farm and in industries such as food processing, storage and transportation.”

North Carolina’s agricultural export value ranked 13th among all states during 2007-08. North Carolina is the nation’s top tobacco exporter, and ranks third in poultry products and fifth in cotton and peanuts sold to other countries.

The state’s leading export commodities were tobacco ($573.6 million), animals and meat ($553.5 million), cotton and linters ($275.5 million) and peanuts ($23.5 million).

North Carolina’s top international customers were Japan, China, Canada, the Netherlands and Germany.

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