NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana's worldwide exports increased 3.4 percent to a record $29.0 billion in the first six months of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.

The World Trade Center of New Orleans said Louisiana's principal export markets through the second quarter were Mexico, $3.26 billion; China, $2.58 billion; and Singapore, $1.53 billion. They were followed by Japan, Canada, Brazil, the Netherlands, Panama, Egypt and France.

Chile and Colombia were edged out of Louisiana's Top 10 export markets in the first half of 2013 by France and Panama, who were previously ranked 16th and 18th, respectively, over the same period last year.

The figures count exports that originate from or travel through Louisiana.

"These export numbers show that many Louisiana businesses continue to do well in their global sales," said Donald Van De Werken, director of the U.S. Export Assistance Center in New Orleans. "In these challenging economic times, exporting is helping many businesses thrive."

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