VA: AG EXPORTS REMAIN A BRIGHT SPOT IN MIDST OF RECESSION

News Date: 08/18/2009

Last year was a record year for Virginia with agricultural exports of $2.2 billion for the twelve month period.  Todd P. Haymore, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), reports that Virginia's agricultural exports have continued to do very well in 2009 and have fared better than most other states. 

For January - May 2009, total U.S. agricultural exports dropped nearly 21 percent, but Virginia's agricultural exports are only five percent below 2008’s record figures for the same time period.  Virginia’s recent export history shows that the state sent abroad $846 million worth of agricultural products January – May 2007, a billion dollars in products for the same period in 2008, and $963 million in the first five months of 2009.

Currently Virginia’s top ten export markets are Switzerland, China, Canada, The Netherlands, Germany, Venezuela, Cuba, Malaysia, Portugal and Indonesia.  VDACS is not focused solely on maintaining market share in current markets, but also works to develop new market opportunities that will keep Virginia’s agriculture-based economy strong and provide for continued export growth in the future.  Cuba is a good example of a market that continues to grow in importance as a new market for Virginia agricultural products.  (Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm at (804) 786-7686)