by Charles A. Monagan
Mar 7, 2011
12:16 PM
On Connecticut

Amber Waves of . . . What?


An interesting article from the Hartford Courant, discussing that how in a recent report from the U.S. Department of Commerce detailing the top 10 exports from Connecticut, No. 1 was aircraft engines, but the rest of the list was a bit more perplexing.

The No. 2 item is wheat, No. 5 is soy beans and No. 10 is corn. You know, because the state is known for its vast wheat, soybean and corn fields.

Oh, and the No. 6 item: oil. Because if you're not getting lost among the endless rows of corn, you're probably crashing into the dozens of oil rigs that litter the Connecticut countryside ...

After pointing out that there's obviously something off in the way that exports are classified and counted for the state, the article does offer an interesting solution:

At the state Department of Economic and Community Development, Laura Jaworski, director of international affairs, has a theory: Hedge funds or commodities brokers in Fairfield County make the deals, and they sign the paperwork using their office's address.

"Doesn't really reflect we're growing rows and rows of corn and wheat," she said.

One thing is clear: State-by-state data on exports are wildly unreliable as a measure of the foreign sales of goods produced in each state.

According to the Connecticut Department of Economic Data's most recent information, the state's top exported items, by value, are:

  1. Transportation equipment - $6.4 billion
  2. Machinery, except electrical - $1.43 billion
  3. Computer & Electronic products - $1.04 billion
  4. Agricultural products - $987 million
  5. Chemicals - $833 million
  6. Fabricated metal products (Not Either Specified or Included) - $546 million
  7. Electrical equipment, appliances and component - $490 million
  8. Special classification provisions, (Not Either Specified or Included) - $462 million
  9. Primary metal manufacturing - $316 million
  10. Miscellaneous manufacturing commodities - $290 million

And, if you're interested, the top 10 countries Connecticut exports to, again by value, are:

  1. France - $2.2 billion
  2. Canada - $1.4 billion
  3. Germany - $1.3 billion
  4. Mexico - $759 million
  5. China (Mainland) - $754 million
  6. United Kingdom - $648 million
  7. Republic of Korea - $518 million
  8. Singapore - $510 million
  9. Japan - $484 million
  10. Saudi Arabia - $437 million

Of course, the numbers for amount of jobs exported to New Jersey aren't available yet, but I'm sure they'll make headlines when they are determined.

Amber Waves of . . . What?

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