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Virginia close to first place in agricultural goods exports

Staff writer |
Virginia has strengthened its position as the second largest exporter of agricultural goods on the East Coast, and narrowed the gap between the Commonwealth and first place Georgia.

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Agricultural exports, which also include Virginia forestry products, reached $3.19 billion in 2015, a 4.7 percent decrease from last year’s all-time high of $3.35 billion.

Exports from Virginia and across the country were impacted negatively by depressed commodity prices, decreased shipments to certain regions due to prohibitive shipping costs, new trade bans, and various geo-political challenges.

The announcement came during the Governor Terry McAuliffe’s keynote remarks at the eighth annual Governor's Conference on Agricultural Trade held in Richmond. The conference runs through Tuesday at the Hilton Downtown Richmond.

The Commonwealth previously reached a record level of agricultural exports in 2014, when just over $3.35 billion in products were shipped from Virginia ports into the global marketplace.

That was the fourth consecutive year that Virginia set new record levels for agricultural exports. Despite the value decline in 2015, Virginia fared much better than most of the country’s leading export states, including its closest neighbors on the East Coast.

For example, exports from Georgia saw a 15 percent decrease in value in 2015. In addition, the value of North Carolina’s exports dropped by more than 13 percent.

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