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NC exports reached $28.7 billion last year, up 6 percent

North Carolina exports increased 6 percent last year, reaching a record high of $28.7 billion, the International Trade Administration reported Tuesday.

The U.S. also set a record last year by exporting $2.2 trillion.

North Carolina saw the biggest percentage increases in exports with the following trade partners: Saudi Arabia (29 percent), Mexico (16 percent), Canada (9 percent) and Hong Kong (9 percent).

The state's largest export market was Canada, which was the destination for $7 billion worth of merchandise last year. The next largest export markets were China ($2.5 billion), Mexico ($2.3 billion), Japan ($1.7 billion) and Germany ($1 billion).

The Greensboro-High Point metro area accounted for the most exports at $2.6 billion, followed by Durham-Chapel Hill with $2.6 billion and the Raleigh-Cary area with $2.3 billion.

North Carolina's largest export category is chemicals, which accounted for $5.3 billion. Machinery accounted for $4.4 billion; transportation equipment $3.1 billion; and computer and electronic products $2.7 billion.

The state also exported $1.8 billion worth of textile and fabrics last year.

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