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WV export business experiencing bright spots

BECKLEY, W.Va. — It’s a sign of how much business is changing in West Virginia.

While coal is still the state’s biggest export, the international and domestic markets are reflective, both showing signs of weakening.

In 2012, coal accounted for $7.4 billion in exports, but after a global financial slowdown that caused less demand for steel, shipment of West Virginia coal slumped to $1.7 billion in 2015, according to the state’s Commerce Department.

Overall, in 2015 West Virginia exports totaled $5.7 billion. To put that in perspective, from 1996 through 2006 the state’s exports ranged from $2 billion to $3 billion annually, according to figures from West Virginia’s Commerce Department.

While the black mineral still reigns as the state’s export king, other goods are replacing the hole it is leaving in the global marketplace…

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