Arkansas Exports See Revenue Rise for Most Products in 2010

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Dec. 13, 2010 12:00 am  

Still, the $5.3 billion in total Arkansas exports in 2009 was 66 percent higher than it was in 2004, according to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission's report.

Kuehn said the declines in 2009 could have been worse. He said the decline in the value in the dollar is better for exporters because customers in other countries can buy U.S. goods for a lower price.

Canada continues to be Arkansas' largest trading partner and accounts for more then $1 billion in products exported from Arkansas in 2009, the report said. Mexico is Arkansas' second-largest trade partner with more than $500 million worth of items shipped from Arkansas in 2009.


Fluctuating Currency

The decline in the value of the euro to about $1.32 from above $1.40 last month and $1.50 in the fourth quarter of 2009 should be a slight blow to U.S. exporters, said Richard Levich, professor of Finance & International Business at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.

"U.S. exporters are probably going to have a bit harder time exporting to Europe now versus a year ago because of the exchange rate," he said.

But he said there were ways for exporters to sidestep a fluctuating currency.

Levich said exporters could trim their prices or take a smaller profit margin.

"They might try to provide additional features in their products or ... provide cheap financing," he said.

Still, some countries will continue to buy export products, such as agriculture items, even if the prices rise 15 percent, Levich said.

"People's buying habits are fairly rigid," he said. "People aren't going to change their diets or change their suppliers much on the basis of a 5 or 10 or 15 percent change in price."
And other factors play into a foreign company's decision to buy exports.



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