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China will emerge as Alaska’s top export customer for 2011 when final trade statistics are counted for the last two months of the year, state officials say.

As of Nov. 1, the value of Alaska exports to the Asian giant had reached USD 1.3 billion, a 52.5 percent increase over the same 10-month, January-October period for 2010, U.S. exports statistics show.

The numbers will change when November and December figures are added but those will not change the overall trend, according to Patricia Eckert, associate director for International Trade in the governor’s office.

Susan Bell, State Commissioner of Commerce said China’s domestic consumption of seafood is increasing, and this includes higher-value products.

“We really saw this when we accompanied Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute people to the China Seafood Expo in late October. We saw snow crab, Pacific cod and sole from Alaska as well as other products like sea cucumbers and geoduck,” Bell said.

Total Alaska exports are likely to pass the USD 5 billion mark for 2011 assuming the trend holds. As of Nov. 1 total export values totaled USD 4.73 billion, according to the U.S. data.

Click here to read the full story from Alaska Journal of Commerce > 

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