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Mo. exports hit another record in 2011

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
A Chinese cargo plane lands at Lambert Airport on Sept. 23, 2011. The country was Missouri's third largest trading partner in 2011, which was a record year for exports from the state.

Missouri companies exported $14.1 billion worth of goods and services last year, according to new data from the World Trade Center St. Louis and the World Institute for Strategic Economic Research.

That's a record level of exports, officials say - $500 million higher than the previous record, which was set in 2007. The state's biggest customers were Canada, Mexico and China, with China's consumption of goods like copper scrap, fan parts, and semiconductor devices growing another 18 percent in 2011.

"China, compared to other international buyers, continues to increase in significance to the Missouri economy and its rebound," said Tim Nowak, the executive director of the World Trade Center St. Louis in a statement.

Denny Coleman, the head of the St. Louis County Economic Development Council, called China a place for "remarkable growth opportunities," and said the county would continue to work with the World Trade Center to "position St. Louis for further business opportunities in Asia through specialized training and high‐level trade missions."

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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