Wisconsin Exports Continue to Grow

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Since 2009, Wisconsin export sales have grown annually. So far, experts say the first half of 2012 is no exception. Wisconsin exported $1.5 billion dollars in agriculture products to more than 130 countries from the first of the year through the end of June. That is a 5 percent increase from last year.

Jen Pino-Gallagher is with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection. She says some of the more popular products overseas are ethanol, processed foods, and dairy products.The demand for whey alone increased more than 27 percent over the first half of last year.”We see very strong demand for whey in the Asian markets. Importers are looking for whey products for not only for processed foods, it’s used as an ingredient, but they also are using whey in animal feeds,” Gallagher said.

The ongoing drought in Wisconsin may put a dent in exports, but Pino-Gallagher remains optimistic. “The reason why is because Wisconsin has such a diverse agricultural sector.We aren’t focusing solely on the exports of commodities like corn or soybeans. We have a diverse export portfolio, which is really made up of a lot of processed and highly value added agriculture products.”

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Wisconsin’s top export markets are China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, and Japan.

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