PORTLAND (AP) – The Maine International Trade Center says exports of Maine-made products rose 9.5 percent in 2008, topping $3 billion for the first time.

The trade center said computer and electronic products – mainly semiconductors – were the top export product with $896 million in overseas sales. Paper was No. 2, followed by transportation equipment, seafood products and forestry products.

Canada continued to be the state’s leading export market, buying $936 million of Maine products.

Trade center President Janine Bisaillon-Cary said much of the export growth occurred early in the year, when Maine companies were benefiting from the weak U.S. dollar. But exports slowed down after September when the dollar strengthened and the world financial crisis took hold.

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