Exports from R.I. fall 5.1% in March

AFTER FALLING 15.3 percent in February. Rhode Island's exports dropped 5.1 percent in March on a month-to-month, seasonally adjusted basis.
Posted 5/23/13

PROVIDENCE – Exports from the Ocean State fell 5.1 percent in March to $183.1 million on a month-to-month, seasonally adjusted basis after falling 15.3 percent in February, according to an international trade statistics report from

Overseas shipments from Rhode Island manufacturers, which accounted for 62 percent of the month’s exports, decreased 9.4 percent from February to March to $114.2 million, seasonally adjusted.

Exports of non-manufactured goods totaled $68.9 million in March, a 3 percent increase from the $66.9 million shipped in February. Non-manufactured goods include agricultural goods, mining products and re-exports, which are foreign goods that entered the state as imports and are exported in the same condition.

Year over year in March, total exports from Rhode Island fell 10.3 percent, or $21 million, from March 2012. For the state’s manufactures, exports dropped 16.7 percent, or $22.9 million, from March last year.

Nationally, exports rose fell by 1.4 percent to $130.3 billion from March 2012 to March 2013.

Year over year, for the first three months of 2013, Rhode Island’s exporters sold 6.4 percent less than they did during the first three months of 2012, as overall exports from the U.S. increased 1.4 percent year over year, according to the report.

Nationally, Rhode Island ranked No. 35 in export growth among the 50 states for the first three months of the year. The drop in merchandise exports was attributed to declines in food, feeds and beverages; automotive vehicles, parts and engines; industrial supplies and materials; capital goods; and consumer goods.

The state’s outlook for the rest of the year and into 2014 depends “mainly on foreign buyers’ finances, which are affected by economic growth in their countries,” Chief Economist Evangelos Otto Simos said in a report analyzing the export statistics. “The faster the buyers’ countries grow, the higher their demand for goods made in Rhode Island.”

Ottos Simos mentioned a report from the International Monetary Fund that said Rhode Island companies doing business abroad are expected to witness “anemic levels of export orders” from their major foreign markets next year, especially from clients in European countries.

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