Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Exports: The (Probable) Intel Effect

Just guessing here, but the state's much (and properly) praised export statistics ask for a closer look, as indeed do most publicized statistics.

To start, the release from the federal International Trade Administration, a part of the Department of Commerce, mixes numbers from 2010, 2011 and 2012. Confusion comes from such a stew.

The dollar value for "merchandise exports" was $3.0 billion in 2012, $2.1 billion in 2011, and $1.5 billion in 2010. Such growth is wonderful. But on to Intel.

The leading export category in 2012 by dollar value with a $1.7 billion total was computer and electronic products. For New Mexico, though the feds don't release company detail, the category is a longwinded way of saying "Intel." By country, Israel was the leading recipient of our merchandise exports with a value of $1.3 billion in 2012, or 43.5% of the total.

That may seem odd. Israel is a small and distant country, after all. But Intel turns out to have operations in five sites in Israel including two fabrication plants at Qiryat Gat. Again, just guessing here, but as Zelda Gilroy often mentioned on the "Dobie Gillis" show, propinquity counts.

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