Accurate descriptions of export trends are needed so industry representatives, analysts, policymakers, and business owners can properly assess market conditions. This publication provides data on manufactured and processed agricultural exports from Washington State to foreign markets for industries including aerospace products, petroleum and coal products, navigational instruments, paper products, basic chemicals, other machinery, and fruit and vegetable preserves. The data here can be used to compare export changes over time.
This is the ninth edition of an annual series. This volume includes data on both exports and imports. Also included is a section discussing the trend in the exchange rate. Similar to the nation, Washington exports decreased remarkably in 2015, in some cases falling below 2006 levels. Exports decreased in almost every leading export industry. Unlike the nation, imports into Washington increased, led by more imports in the Aerospace Products and Parts industry.
This publication includes data that depict trends in Washington exports from 2006 to 2015, and imports from 2008 to 2015, by industry. The data are presented as an inflation-adjusted time series, which allows values to be compared over time. These figures also emphasize the relationships between the export activity of Washington’s individual industries and its overall state-level exporting activity. The industries discussed include some of the largest in the state: aerospace products and parts, petroleum and coal products, navigational instruments, paper products, basic chemicals, and other machinery. Special attention is given to the processed agricultural products industries: fruit and vegetable preserves, grain and oilseed milling products, meat products, and dairy products. Readers interested in seeing the sub-industries that make up each category should visit the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) website, which is administered by the United States Census Bureau, and click on the 2012 NAICS search button.
This volume of Export Trends in Washington State is the ninth fact sheet in a series of WSU Extension publications providing information on Washington exports and imports. New to this edition are 2015 export and import data, and a section discussing the trend in the exchange rate.
The World Institute for Strategic Economic Research (WISERTrade) is the source for Washington’s exports and imports data. The key feature of the WISERTrade state-level export data is its focus on the location from which exporting begins (origin-of-movement state) rather than on the location from which exported goods are produced (production state). This fact has important implications for the accuracy of data interpretation and conclusions. A discussion of these implications can be found in The Collection and Description of Washington State Export Data (Cassey 2010). Also included is a description of the process by which the Washington State export data used in this series are collected as well as interpretation limitations and definitions for many technical terms.
Import data are collected at the U.S. port of entry and the statistics are credited to the state indicated by the importer of record. Therefore, the import data likely overestimate the value of foreign goods used for production or consumption in Washington since intermediary buyers in Washington could sell these imports to other states. However, if the overestimating remains constant over time, the import data will show trends accurately.
Though the export data for the origin-of-movement state and import data for the port-of-entry state are only available for purchase, interested readers may obtain some Washington State trade data at no cost from TradeStats Express. In this publication, all nominal data have been adjusted for inflation using the annual values from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area. These CPI data are for all urban consumers for all items, except food and energy, and are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Series ID: CUUSA423SA0L1E. The base year used is the 1982–1984 average. This base year is the standard used by the BLS. This means that the dollar value of the data provided corresponds to the average value of the dollar from 1982 to 1984.
Washington Inflation-Adjusted Export Patterns in Total and by Selected Industry
In 2015, Washington State exports were $29.5 billion in inflation-adjusted value. That is down from $30.8 billion in inflation-adjusted value in 2014, a decrease of 4.3%. This may be seen in Figure 1. Though Washington’s exports have decreased in the recent past, namely in 2008 and 2010, those years were part of the so-called Great Recession. That exports decreased in 2015 is noteworthy because the overall U.S. economy grew during the year.