FLORENCE, S.C. — South Carolina set an export sales record for the 10th consecutive year, according to a recent report by the state Department of Commerce.
In 2019, Palmetto State exporters sold $41.5 billion worth of goods to buyers in 198 counties, ranking 11th among states.
The amount sold is a 19.5% increase over 2018’s $34.6 billion. Since 2011, export sales have risen by 68% from $24.7 billion to 2019’s $41.5 billion.
“South Carolina’s economy is booming, and the news of yet another record-setting year for exports is further confirmation that our global reputation for excellence is hard-earned and well-deserved,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. “As we look forward to the next decade, we will continue to work hard to ensure that the Palmetto State remains the best place to do business.”
“South Carolina companies continue to produce top-quality products, and the world has taken notice,” Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said. “Moving forward, we will continue to prioritize the growth of our international trade footprint and will encourage companies of all sizes to expand their reach into new markets overseas.”
The top products exported were aircraft — there is a large Boeing plant in North Charleston — at just over $12 billion, vehicles and parts — there is a large BMW plant in the Upstate — at almost exactly $12 billion, and others at around $10 billion.
South Carolina exports accounted for 35% of all tires — there is a large Michelin tire plant in Lexington — exported from the United States and 18% of all passenger vehicles exported.
The top markets for Palmetto State exports were the People’s Republic of China at 16% of all exports, Germany at 11%, Canada at 10%, and the United Arab Emirates at 6%.