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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - 12:17pm

Drop Expected In GA Exports

While Georgia saw a 20 percent growth in exports over the last two years, experts say that boom may be coming to an end.

Curtis Foltz, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, says China is the largest client for Georgia’s exports, and its economy is slowing down.
He says “As we start seeing manufacturing orders drying up in Asia, which all the manufacturing indicators in Asia are starting to slow down. I think ultimately that is clearly going to have a dampening effect on our exports. We haven’t seen it yet, but I think it would be reasonable to expect that in the coming months.”

How long will it last? Foltz says “Still a lot of uncertainties out there. Hopefully it will be short-lived. But there are too many global decisions that are going to have to be made that are going to drive how long that might last.”

Foltz expects the slowdown to impact all of Georgia’s exports.

Georgia is one of the largest exporters of poultry. For the first six months of this year, the USDA reported chicken and turkey exports at all-time record high levels.

But Toby Moore with the U.S. Poultry and Egg Export Council says high grain prices are leading farmers to cut production.

He says “Resulting production cuts will translate into possibly lower exports over the next year or so.”

Georgia’s other largest exports are forest products and kaolin, which is a white clay found in the earth.