SC Commerce

South Carolina exporters post 5th consecutive record year: $29.7 billion in 2014

State ranked as the top exporter of tires and completed passenger motor vehicles

For the fifth consecutive year, the state of South Carolina has set a record for total export sales. Today, Gov. Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the South Carolina Ports Authority announced that the state’s 2014 exports totaled $29.7 billion, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The figure represents a more than 13 percent increase over the 2013 total.

“South Carolina’s exports continue to grow because we have built a reputation around the world as a great place to do business,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “The fact that we continue to break export records is a real reason to celebrate in South Carolina because it’s a testament to our world-class workforce and business-friendly climate. Our economy is on the move, and we’re just getting started.”

With more than $4.23 billion in export sales, China remained South Carolina’s top export partner in 2014. Rounding out the Palmetto State’s top ten export partners are Germany, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Algeria, Australia, Japan, Belgium and South Korea.

“Much of the exporting success that South Carolina is experiencing can be attributed to the state’s thriving manufacturing industry,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “As a world leader in the production of tires, cars, and wide-body commercial aircraft, it’s clear that we’re gaining a global reputation for the quality of goods that we produce.”

South Carolina’s year-over-year 13.1 percent increase ranks first among states that export more than $6 billion in goods. Nationwide, only Hawaii, North Dakota, New Mexico, Wyoming and Alaska boasted a larger percentage increase, making South Carolina the top state in the Southeast for export growth.

The Palmetto State was the nation’s top exporter of completed passenger motor vehicles in 2014. With a 21 percent increase over 2013, vehicles accounted for $9.2 billion of South Carolina’s export sales, making it the state’s top export commodity of 2014. For the fourth consecutive year, the Palmetto State also led the nation in the export of tires, comprising nearly 30 percent of the total tire export market.

“South Carolina is leading the nation with exports related to the automotive sector,” said South Carolina Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome.  “Our 52-foot Harbor Deepening Project in Charleston will facilitate an even greater share of global trade in the years to come as ships become larger and manufacturing grows more robustly within the Southeast region.”

With $1.7 billion in total export sales, gas turbines finished behind completed passenger motor vehicles as South Carolina’s second most successful export commodity. Rounding out the state’s top four were tires and aircraft.

2014 South Carolina export rankings among states:
  • Ranked 17th in exports overall.
  • Ranked as the top Southeastern state for export growth
  • Ranked as the top exporter of completed passenger motor vehicles
  • Ranked as the top exporter of tires
  • Ranked as the top exporter of synthetic staple fibers
  • Ranked as the top exporter of ball or roller bearings and parts
  • Ranked as the top exporter of lawn mowers
  • Ranked 2nd in the export of gas turbines
  • Ranked 2nd in the export of kraft paper and paperboard
  • Ranked 4th in the export of fuel wood, logs and billets
  • Ranked 12th in the export of civilian aircraft

The U.S. Department of Commerce is the data source for South Carolina’s export statistics.