California exports were 20% lower in February than during the same month a year earlier, a further sign of how the recession has hammered the state's economy.
The University of California Center in Sacramento said it was the fourth straight month that exports shrank significantly.
The state shipped $9.1 billion worth of food and merchandise to other countries in February. That was down from $11.3 billion in February 2008.
Imports dropped nearly 37% in February from the previous year.
The UC center said it calculated the state's trade data from figures released Thursday by the U.S. Commerce Department. The data showed that the U.S. trade deficit plunged unexpectedly in February as the recession pushed imports down for a seventh straight month, while exports rebounded a bit.
Jock O'Connell, the center's international trade and economics advisor, said there were few signs that exports would rebound soon.