CHARLESTON, WV — Gov. Jim Justice announced today that West Virginia's export market grew for the third consecutive year in 2022 to a value of $7.6 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's recent trade statistics. This marks a 20% increase over 2021, with an additional $1.4 billion in exports.
“Our continued growth in exports showcases the incredible strength of West Virginia's economy,” Gov. Justice said. “West Virginia businesses delivered quality products and services to 140 countries around the world last year which is proof that we are not only competitive in global markets, but GROWING year after year. Way to go West Virginia!”
Coal was the most significant export, totaling $3.8 billion. The Netherlands, India, and Brazil were among the countries that received coal from West Virginia, making it the United States' second-largest coal exporter. Despite this, more than half of West Virginia's exports were products other than coal.
Plastic exports were the second most significant export product, with a value of $1.1 billion, sent to destinations such as China, Belgium, and Japan.
The top five export sectors were machinery and automotive products ($916 million), chemicals ($657 million), and metals ($261 million). West Virginia also exported hardwood lumber, agricultural goods, and manufactured items to the aerospace and defense sectors.
“Exports are an integral part of West Virginia’s economy and the Department of Economic Development is encouraged by the continued success of our State’s exporters," Economic Development Secretary Mitch Carmichael said. “We are excited to continue our promotion of the State’s products and services to all corners of the world and also to promote West Virginia as a strategic location for global businesses looking to grow and expand their access to new markets.”
Canada was the largest market for West Virginia exports, with $1.5 billion in products sold, followed by the Netherlands, India, Brazil, and China. According to the International Trade Administration, small businesses that export typically grow their sales faster, create more jobs and offer higher wages than non-exporting businesses.
The Export Promotion Program is available to West Virginia small businesses interested in exporting or expanding their international presence. Interested businesses can contact the Department of Economic Development to learn more about the services and support available to them.