Associated Press Published

Coal Exports Drop

Government data shows a significant drop in coal exports contributed to a 26 percent decline in West Virginia’s overall exports last year.

U.S. Census figures cited by the state show total exports of $8.4 billion last year, compared with $11.3 billion in 2012.

Coal remained West Virginia’s top export despite falling 40 percent in 2013 to $4.4 billion from $7.4 billion. Non-coal exports grew by $47 million to $3.9 billion.

Despite the overall drop, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says state exports contributed greatly to the state’s economic growth in 2013.

The state Department of Commerce says West Virginia exported products to 144 countries last year, up from 136 in 2012. Canada is by far the state’s top export market.

Plastics was the top exported products from the manufacturer sector.