ST. PAUL, Minn. (March 7, 2017) — Minnesota exports of manufactured, agricultural and mining products were valued at $5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, unchanged from the same period a year earlier, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). U.S. exports were up 2 percent from one year ago.
State exports to Asia climbed 8 percent in the quarter to $1.7 billion. Exports to North American markets fell 8 percent to $1.6 billion, while exports to Europe were down 1 percent to $1.1 billion.
“Exports were especially strong in Asia in the fourth quarter, with China, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan all posting double-digit growth,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “Minnesota exports to these and other countries are an important part of the state economy, accounting for thousands of jobs, particularly in manufacturing.”
Other regions that saw strong export growth were Africa ($58 million, up 84 percent) and Australia-Pacific ($144 million, up 6 percent).
Canada was the state’s largest national market, with sales of $1 billion (down 6 percent).
Other top 10 national markets were China ($609 million, up 15 percent), Mexico ($566 million, down 11 percent), Japan ($256 million, down 7 percent), South Korea ($237 million, up 25 percent), Germany ($182 million, down 11 percent), United Kingdom ($171 million, up 21 percent), Belgium ($165 million, down 14 percent), Singapore ($140 million, up 13 percent) and Taiwan ($132 million, up 18 percent).
Optic/medical instruments was the state’s top export category, with sales of $902 million, down 2 percent.
Other top products were machinery ($792 million, down 8 percent), electrical machinery ($638 million, down 4 percent), vehicles ($400 million, down 8 percent), plastic ($298 million, up 10 percent), food byproducts ($152 million, down 9 percent), aircraft, spacecraft ($140 million, up 46 percent), meat ($95 million, up 31 percent), pharmaceuticals ($88 million, down 1 percent) and miscellaneous seeds, grains, fruit ($77 million, up 34 percent).
The 46 percent increase in aircraft, spacecraft sales was driven by growth in New Zealand ($31 million, up 190 percent), Japan ($10 million, up 272 percent), Canada ($15 million, up 89 percent), South Korea ($8 million, up 874 percent) and Saudi Arabia ($7 million, up 831 percent).
Miscellaneous seeds, grains, fruit saw a 34 percent increase, led by sales of soybeans to China ($23 million, up from $279,000). Increased sales to China, Mexico and Canada drove up meat exports by 31 percent.
Other bright spots included dairy products ($31 million, up 74 percent), goods made of base metals ($30 million, up 46 percent), baked goods ($30 million, up 45 percent) and dyes and inks ($25 million, up 53 percent).