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Massachusetts Exports Hit New High: 2005 First Year to See Six Billion-Dollar Export Sectors

The Massachusetts Alliance for International Business (MAIB), a research and educational foundation affiliated with Associated Industries of Massachusetts, has reported that Massachusetts manufacturers set a new record of exporting merchandise to international markets in 2005, surpassing the previous high reached in 2004.

  • Massachusetts merchandise exports set a new record in 2005 at $22.043 billion, surpassing the previous high reached in 2004.
  • Instruments ($4.725B) took over the top spot among export sectors, edging out 2004's leader, electric machinery ($4.552B), with longtime bellwether industrial machinery ($3.168B) in third.
  • Pharmaceutical products ($2.821B) gained 36% in 2005, doubling international sales over the past two years. Organic chemicals ($1.124B), also largely biomedical products, rounded out the top five industries.
  • Plastics and plastic products rebounded to $1.047B in exports, giving Massachusetts six billion-dollar export sectors for the first time. These industries together accounted for 79% of the state's merchandise exports in 2005.
  • Among leading exports markets for Massachusetts products, the Netherlands ($3.002B) knocked Canada ($2.926B) from the top spot for the first time.  Germany ($2.151B), Japan ($1.898B), and the United Kingdom ($1.628B) were also billion-dollar-plus markets.
  • China (mainland) was the sixth largest market at $882 million; adding in Hong Kong (reported separately) brought total sales to $1.389 billion.
  • The state's top 10 export markets included our two NAFTA partners, four nations in Europe, and four in Asia. (Three of the next four were also Asian.) This reflects a continuing diversification of markets, away from slower-growing North Atlantic economies into more rapidly expanding areas.
  • Because Massachusetts exports grew by only about one percent while national exports expanded 10 times as fast, the Bay State dropped from ninth to tenth among exporting states. This comes, however, after two years in which Massachusetts' growth far outstripped the national average.

For more information, see the details at AIM.

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