Kentucky's Exports at an All-Time High

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – Kentucky-made products are being sold around the world at a record pace.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced on Feb. 10 that the Commonwealth exported a state-record $27.5 billion in 2014. It’s the fourth-straight year Kentucky has broken the previous mark.

“Kentucky’s impact on the global economy is significant,” said Gov. Beshear. “The fact that we’ve shattered export records for four years running shows our initiatives to help businesses succeed are working. Expanding Kentucky’s market is important to our business community, to our economy and to the prosperity of every person in the Commonwealth.”

The record represents a 9 percent growth in exports since 2013. By comparison, the average export growth rate nationwide was just over 2 percent. In 2013, Kentucky’s exports totaled $25.3 billion.

Leading Kentucky’s export growth is aerospace. Last year, the state shipped out $7.8 billion in aerospace parts and products, a 38 percent increase from 2013. Kentucky’s other top exports include motor vehicles, parts, and bodies and trailers ($5.9 billion), synthetic rubber and resin ($1.4 billion) and pharmaceuticals ($1.3 billion).

Among the state’s major industries, the export that accounted for the highest percentage increase in 2014 was motor vehicle bodies and trailers, up nearly 2,100 percent from the previous year. The products are being sold in Canada, Mexico and Japan.

In 2014, the Commonwealth exported to 191 nations. Kentucky’s top trading partner is Canada, with $7.6 billion in products and services. Mexico ($2.3 billion), United Kingdom ($2.3 billion), France ($2 billion) and China ($1.7 billion) round out the top five.

Kentucky experienced a significant jump in exports to France. Exports to France grew 93 percent. The increase in exports to the region is attributable to aerospace products and parts (up from $832 million in 2013 to $1.8 billion in 2014).

The Commonwealth’s yearly exports have increased 42 percent since Gov. Beshear created the Kentucky Export Initiative (KEI) in 2010. KEI is designed to better facilitate international trade opportunities for Kentucky businesses. Gov. Beshear also has led KEI trade missions to the United Kingdom and Canada. Another international trade mission also is being planned.

“To achieve success, we have to be focused on the global marketplace,” said Mandy Lambert, commissioner of business development in the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “We make world-class products in Kentucky, and now the world is taking notice.”

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at or follow on Twitter Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2012 totaled nearly $2.7 billion with the creation of more than 14,000 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training,incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at

Kyndle would like to thank The Gleaner and Union County First for the use of images throughout this site.