ST. PAUL (June 12, 2014) — Minnesota exports of manufactured, agricultural and mining products reached $5 billion in the first quarter, a 2 percent increase from the same quarter a year ago, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
Minnesota exports grew by more than 20 percent in five of the state’s top 10 national markets, while eight of the state’s top 10 product categories saw sales increases. Minnesota manufactured exports were up 4.4 percent from a year ago, compared with a 1 percent growth rate nationally.
North America was the state’s top export region with sales of $1.7 billion (down 2 percent), followed by Asia at $1.6 billion (up 4 percent) and the European Union at $1.1 billion (up 7 percent).
“Minnesota exporters saw strong gains in our traditional markets during the first quarter,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “But they also made headway into newer markets for Minnesota products, with exports growing 11 percent in the Middle East and 16 percent in the Australia-Pacific region.”
Canada was the state’s top national market with sales of $1.2 billion (down 12 percent). Other top markets were China ($523 million, down 2 percent), Mexico ($433 million, up 49 percent), Japan ($319 million, up 23 percent), Belgium ($250 million, up 41 percent), Germany ($215 million, up 24 percent), Korea ($163 million, down 4 percent), Australia ($139 million, up 24 percent), United Kingdom ($136 million, down 4 percent) and the Philippines ($132 million, down 5 percent).
The 49 percent increase to Mexico was driven by increased sales of machinery, vehicles and electrical equipment. Canadian exports fell because of decreased sales of mineral fuels/oils, machinery, beverages, ores/slag/ash and vehicles.
Machinery led all product categories with sales of $932 million, down 7 percent. Other top exports were optical, medical instruments ($855 million, up 7 percent), electrical machinery ($641 million, up 5 percent), vehicles ($447 million, up 3 percent), plastics ($277 million, up 15 percent), food byproducts ($147 million, up 5 percent), aircraft, spacecraft ($112 million, down 33 percent), meat ($102 million, up 29 percent), iron and steel ($78 million, up 5 percent) and paper ($68 million, up 4 percent).
The 29 percent jump in meat exports was driven by a $10 million increase in sales to both Japan and Mexico, primarily for pork products.
Exports of plastics climbed 15 percent behind a 49 percent increase in sales of that product to both Canada and Mexico. Plastic sheets, plates and other flat materials, and miscellaneous plastics were the main products in that segment.
DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at http://mn.gov/deed., and Twitter at twitter.com/mndeed.