Exports by Md. firms increased 7.1% in '94

March 24, 1995|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Sun Staff Writer

The value of exports by Maryland companies last year increased by 7.1 percent, to $5.84 billion, boosted by a surge in sales to Japan and Taiwan but muted by a drop in shipments to Egypt and weakened growth in trade with Canada.

The largest category was transportation equipment, which accounted for $2.9 billion of the exports. The second-largest group was industrial machinery and computers, which totaled $623.4 million.

"The continued growth in exports from Maryland shows that Maryland companies are both resilient and flexible in meeting the challenges of international commerce," said Gov. Parris N. Glendening in a prepared statement.

The figures, released yesterday by the Department of Economic and Employment Development, were prepared by the Massachusetts Institute of Social and Economic Research from information from the U.S. Commerce Department.

Trade with Canada, the state's largest foreign customer, grew at the lackluster pace of 5.5 percent, hitting $1.25 billion, partly as the result of a weaker Canadian dollar making U.S. exports more expensive. In comparison, Maryland exports to Canada grew by 47 percent in 1993.

But exports to Japan -- the state's second-biggest customer -- increased 57.2 percent, to $515.7 million. The growth was fueled in part by the dollar's sharp decline against the Japanese yen last year.

Shipments to Taiwan jumped by 56.3 percent, to $221.4 million, making that country Maryland's fourth-ranking buyer.

Exports to Egypt, which had been the state's second-largest VTC customer in 1993, dropped by nearly half, to $334.4 million from $651.5 million in 1993. This was caused by the continued winding-down of shipments of military equipment that the U.S. government had committed to during the Persian Gulf war in 1991, according to DEED spokesman Curt Matthews.

TOP MARKETS

Trade with Maryland's top five export markets last year, in millions of dollars

G=Nation ... ... ... ... ... ... 1994 ... ... ... ... ... 1993

Canada ... ... ... ... ... ... $1,245.6 ... ... ... ... $1,180.4

Japan ... ... ... ... .. .. .. 515.7 ... ... ... ... .. 328.0

Germany ... ... ... ... ... .. 434.9 ... ... ... ... .. 412.4

Taiwan ... ... ... ... ... ... 346.0 ... ... ... ... .. 221.4

Egypt ... ... ... ... .. .. .. 334.4 ... ... ... ... .. 651.5

Source: DEED

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