Commerce: New Orleans metro area No. 8 in exports

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The U.S. Commerce Department says new export data shows the New Orleans metro area was the nation's No. 8 exporter last year, with a record $30 billion in merchandise exports shipped through the area.

The International Trade Administration says the total was up 23 percent from 2012, a $5.7 billion increase.

St. John the Baptist Parish had the biggest share of the total: $8.1 billion. Plaquemines Parish was next at $3.9 billion, followed by Jefferson Parish at $2.4 billion, St. James Parish at $1.2 billion, Orleans Parish at $452 million and St. Bernard Parish at $147 million.

The agency says the area's top exports were petroleum and coal products, crops, processed foods, chemicals, beverages and tobacco products. The leading destinations were China, Singapore, Mexico, France, and the Netherlands.

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