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Toledo area exports surge in 2013

Automotive sector helped boost region to 75th ranking in nation

The value of exports produced in metro Toledo grew by 22 percent in 2013 to a record $3.4 billion, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Wednesday.

Again, it was the automotive sector that helped boost the region. Officials said exports of transportation equipment, a broad category that includes things such as automotive parts and motor vehicles, nearly tripled in 2013 to $1.6 billion. That more than made up for decreases in the machinery manufacturing, mineral product manufacturing, and primary metal manufacturing segments.

The Commerce Department said Toledo ranked 75th out of 387 U.S. metropolitan areas. The area ranked 79th the previous year.

“Exports are up, and that’s good news for businesses pursuing new export horizons,” said Melissa Blackledge, a U.S. Commercial Service International Trade Specialist in Cleveland. “If your business has a good track record of selling throughout the United States, it’s likely your company could make the leap into selling abroad.”

Toledo continues to trail the state’s top exporters, but has been making up ground fast. Over the last two years, metro Toledo’s exports have grown by 42 percent — the biggest increase in the state.

Metro Toledo leapfrogged Dayton last year to become the state’s No. 5 exporter.

Metro Cincinnati topped the rankings at $21 billion worth of exports. Cleveland, at $11.2 billion worth of exports, was second, followed by Columbus, at $5.7 billion, and Akron at $3.5 billion.

In Michigan, metro Detroit was tops at $54 billion in exports. That ranked Detroit sixth in the nation.

The Commerce Department has said total U.S. exports rose 2 percent to $2.3 trillion in 2013, the fourth consecutive yearly record.

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