BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Overseas demand for Idaho dairy products and silver helped drive export growth to 16.6 percent from July to September, keeping the state on pace for record out-of-country sales for 2011.

Idaho's third-quarter export growth trailed the national rate of 17.7 percent, compared to the year-ago period.

Department of Commerce director Jeff Sayer says international markets continued to be a bright spot for Idaho's economy.

Dairy exports rose by 70 percent to $194 million as fast-growing Asia Pacific countries had an appetite for whey protein and powdered milk.

High prices for precious metals increased demand for mining products, where exports more than doubled to $362 million.

And while domestic construction remains mired in a slump, Idaho wood products exports to Canada, Japan, Mexico and China rose 58 percent to $79 million.

Copyright 2011 The AP.

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