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Alaska 2006 exports could top $4 billion

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Alaska 2006 exports could top $4 billion

Source: Anchorage Daily News

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Alaska's exports of seafood, zinc and other minerals, fertilizer production and other products should top $4 billion for the first time last year when the final numbers are tallied, the head of the World Trade Center Alaska said Monday.

The exports through November totaled $3.9 billion, said Greg Wolf, executive director of the Anchorage-based trade center.

The expected $4 billion total would represent an 11 percent increase over 2005, the third year in a row of double-digit growth, Wolf said.

He noted that some of the increases are due to higher prices for Alaska exports, rather than more product being shipped to foreign buyers.

For example, the most valuable mineral mined from Alaska is zinc, most of which comes from the giant Red Dog Mine near Kotzebue. The price of zinc more than doubled last year. Gold prices grew 35 percent.

Wolf said Alaska's export economy accounts for $1 of every $10 in the value of all goods and services the state generates.

Leading the export growth were higher values of minerals and other products sent to China and Canada. The Canadian company that runs the Red Dog Mine sends its zinc to British Columbia for smelting.

Exports to China have quadrupled since 2001, topping $470 million last year through November, Wolf said.

"China's economic rise and its voracious appetite for natural resources have been the predominant force influencing Alaska's export growth over the past five or six years," he said.

Wolf's organization works with businesses to find export opportunities, using trade missions, information sharing, seminars, monthly programs and other techniques.

Other information gleaned from Wolf's report on Alaska exports through November last year included:

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4 billion seems crazy, but I think that 2 billion of it is seafood is really crazy.

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^Yeah seafood makes up a huge portion. I think oil does too, well they export at least a million gallons to Japan every year.

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