Category Archives: Uncategorized

Maine trade group names Yale Cordage as exporter of the year

The Maine International Trade Center is recognizing four organizations with its 2017 International Trade and Investment Awards, including Yale Cordage as its Exporter of the Year. The awards will be presented during Maine International Trade Day on May 25 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Yale Cordage, based in Saco, makes high-performance synthetic ropes and rope systems that are used in national defense, science and industry, sport and recreation, and professional arboriculture. The company exports its products to more than 30 countries, with a concentration on markets in the European Union, according to a news release from MITC.

“The change in the Euro value to the U.S. dollar is an area to watch, and the effects of Brexit are of particular interest,” William Putnam, president of Yale Cordage, said in the news release. “Our historical export business to the UK has been very strong, and we are very concerned about currency changes between the USD, Euro and GB pound. We feel that strong relationships with our customers, great products, and the guidance and assistance from MITC to explore new markets can help navigate the changing economic climate in the EU.”

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‘Beer box’ with 50 taps for Maine brews going to Iceland aboard Eimskip

Beer drinkers in Iceland will get a taste from across the Atlantic this summer when the “Maine Beer Box” comes to Reykjavik.

The Maine Beer Box, a branded shipping container with more than 50 taps built into its side, is the centerpiece of a multi-year effort between the Maine Brewers’ Guild and Eimskip, the Icelandic shipping company, to expose Maine beer to new markets and bring beers from Iceland and beyond back to the state.

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Fishermen Say Canada-EU Trade Deal Would Hurt Maine’s Lobster Industry

Some Maine fishermen say that they’ve always been at a disadvantage when trying to compete with their Canadian counterparts. Now, the Maine lobster industry is weighing a pending trade agreement between Canada and the European Union that could adversely affect lobster prices in Maine.

It’s been a touchy subject Down East for years.

“Canada has always put the screws to the United States fisherman — they don’t have the regulations that we do,” says Colby Young, a recently retired lobster fisherman from Corea.

Young says that the pending trade deal between Canada and the European Union is the latest example of a marketing system that has given Canadian fishermen an edge.

Known as the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, the new partnership would remove the 8 percent tariff on live lobsters for Canada, but the fee would remain on for the United States. With the added advantage of a current exchange rate that makes the Canadian dollar worth about 75 cents American, the Canadian lobster should be attractive to the European market.

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Lobster industry fears lost sales from ramped-up Canadian exports

A new trade deal looming between Canada and the European Union is setting off alarm bells in the Maine lobster industry.

The deal between Canada and the EU – the largest seafood consumer market in the world – would eliminate tariffs on Canadian lobster exports into Europe and give the Maritimes a competitive advantage over their American counterparts, who would be stuck selling lobsters with tariffs ranging from 8 percent for a live lobster to 20 percent on processed or cooked lobster.

A weak Canadian dollar, which is now valued at about 75 percent of a U.S. dollar, will only make Canadian lobster that much more attractive to importers in the 28 member nations of the European Union, which is the second biggest importer of American lobsters, second only to Canada, according to trade data. In 2016, the EU imported $152 million worth of lobsters from the U.S., most of it from Maine.

“This is a big deal,” said Annie Tselikis, director of the Maine Lobster Dealers’ Association. “Canada recognizes that it is an export nation. They are putting their money where their mouth is and adopting a very aggressive trade policy. They are also developing a very aggressive, smart marketing campaign abroad. It is going to be very difficult to compete with that because we sell the same product.”

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Eimskip shipping company adding 4 more port calls to Portland this year

More shipments show the Icelandic company’s confidence in the port’s connection to international shipping lanes and that a cold-storage warehouse will be completed on the waterfront, the director of the Maine Port Authority says.

Icelandic shipping company Eimskip will add four trips to Portland this year – a 13 percent increase in port calls over 2016 – continuing growth at Maine’s sole container terminal.

Eimskip has increased port calls to Portland from 26 in 2013 to 35 planned for this year. The increased visits are being driven by a 20 percent growth in shipping volume, said Larus Isfeld, managing director of Eimskip USA. Portland is the only U.S. port Eimskip ships to directly.

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Forum brings northern Maine into loop on global trade opportunities

More than 2,200 Maine companies are selling goods and services in the international marketplace and the state is attracting interest abroad, according to Wade Merritt, vice president of the Maine International Trade Center.

Those Maine companies exported internationally $2.8 billion worth of goods and services last year, Merritt said at a Feb. 9. business forum organized by the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce.

The state’s global exports have been growing in recent years, driven in good part by the seafood industry, and there are many reasons to be optimistic about large and small Maine businesses benefiting from global trade, said Merritt.

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Maine’s aerospace exports soared to record $312 million last year

Exports of civilian aircraft, aviation engines and parts jumped more than 30 percent last year, becoming Maine’s second-most valuable export industry after seafood, according to federal trade data.

The total dollar value of Maine’s aerospace exports was a record $312 million last year, about 11 percent of the state’s $2.8 billion in foreign exports. Though Maine’s aviation exports declined between 2012 and 2015, the value has risen dramatically overall in the last decade, jumping more than 700 percent, from $37.8 million in 2006 to last year’s record.

The increase in exports from the aerospace industry coincides with declining export value in electric machinery, paper and wood products. Trade data can sometimes be misleading or incomplete, said Wade Merritt, vice president of the Maine International Trade Center. In this case, however, the numbers appear to show sustained growth in aviation-related companies.

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Value of Maine lobster exports to China on pace to triple for 2016

Live lobster exports to China are on pace to triple in value in 2016, despite the incursion of some new lobster suppliers to the growing Asian market.

Final figures for 2016 won’t be known until February, but through November, the value of live lobster shipments from Maine to China climbed to $27.5 million, nearly tripling from the $10.2 million reported in November 2015. That’s roughly half the total export of live lobsters from Maine to date, excluding Canada, where many Maine lobsters are processed and then imported back into Maine for distribution.

And those figures don’t include the traditional year-end surge leading up the Chinese New Year on Jan. 28, when Chinese celebrants have been serving up lobster from Maine, Massachusetts and Canada in ever-increasing numbers.

“I was over at a few facilities the week of Christmas and they were slammed getting lobsters out the door,” said Jeff Bennett, a senior trade specialist at the Maine International Trade Center who focuses on lobster exports.

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Maine exports up 5% for year, national average is in the red

Exports of Maine goods through October 2016 rose 5.8% and likely will end the year up 5%, compared to a negative national average, according to the Maine International Trade Center.

“The 5.8% through October is big news,” Janine Bisaillon-Cary, president and state director of international trade at MITC, told Mainebiz. She credited the boost in exports to seafood and aircraft exports, up 30% and 51.2%, respectively.

Exports from the state hit $2.86 billion through October, up from $2.72 billion in 2015.

Nationally, exports through October decreased $58.7 billion or 3.1% from the same period in 2015, according to data released in early December by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Read the full article in Mainebiz

SBA grants $145,000 to help small business with exports

The Maine International Trade Center received a $145,000 grant to support export growth among small businesses.

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program.

“With more than two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power outside the U.S., it’s critical for businesses to reach out to customers beyond our borders.” said Marilyn Geroux, SBA district director for Maine, in a release announcing the award Thursday.

Wade Merritt, vice president and STEP project director at MITC, said the renewed award has been able to support 97 company projects in overseas markets over the past four years. The support resulted in nearly $7 million in new exports, representing a 26 to 1 return on SBA’s investment of just over $250,000, according to Merritt.

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