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Missouri exports rise 36 percent, outpace national average by 15 percent in 2010

Canada, Mexico and China are the top customers for Missouri goods in an export market that jumped 36 percent in 2010, the St. Louis Business Journal reports.

The data reflecting the jump is from the World Trade Center St. Louis.

Tim Nowak, executive director at the World Trade Center, says the growth was driven primarily by industrial products and manufactured goods.

"It's industrial machinery, electronic machinery, organic chemicals that are really the top commodities that were part of this export growth," Nowak said.

Nowak also said Missouri's export growth outpaced the national average by 15 percent.

In particular, Nowak says exports to China offer huge potential for Missouri companies, particularly if a new air freight hub comes to Lambert Airport.

"Well for year Missouri's two largest trading partners have been number 1, Canada and number 2, Mexico," Nowak said, "What I found interesting is the 43 percent growth in exports to China over the past years."

Officials negotiating the freight hub with China remain optimistic that a deal will be reached soon, and Chinese planes could be landing at Lambert by this summer.

Last year, the total dollar value of Missouri exports was $12.9 billion, up from $9.5 billion in 2009.