ST. PAUL - Sales of Minnesota agricultural, mining and manufactured exports grew 15 percent to a second quarter record of $5.9 billion, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Minnesota represents the eleventh largest gain in exports nationwide for this period. U.S. exports as a whole were up 11 percent, with 43 states reporting increased export sales.

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It is unknown whether countermeasures on U.S. exports had any impact on these statistics. Countermeasures were implemented in June and July by Canada, Mexico, China, and the European Union as a response to U.S. tariffs on select products from those regions.

"Minnesota businesses made an additional $780 million in export sales between the second quarters of 2017 and 2018," said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. "Our state continues to have a robust international customer base and investment opportunities."

Asia was the state's top export region, with sales climbing 23 percent to $2.1 billion. Minnesota exports grew 15 percent to $1.9 billion in North America and 9 percent to $1.3 billion in Europe. Exports sales also climbed in Central and South America (up 8 percent) and the Middle East (up 25 percent), but dropped in Africa (down 9 percent) and in the Australia-Pacific area (down 9 percent).

Minnesota's top national market was Canada, with sales climbing 20 percent from a year ago to $1.3 billion. Other top 10 markets were China ($717 million, up 27 percent), Mexico ($613 million, up 5 percent), Japan ($390 million, up 24 percent), South Korea ($262 million, up 21 percent), Germany ($246 million, up 30 percent), Singapore ($169 million, up 19 percent), United Kingdom ($169 million, up 4 percent), Netherlands ($154 million, down 18 percent), and Belgium ($152 million, down 8 percent).

Optics/medical was the top-selling product at $1.14 billion in sales, an increase of 23 percent from the second quarter one year ago. Other top 10 exports were machinery ($918 million, up 13 percent), electrical machinery ($818 million, up 24 percent), plastics ($400 million, up 23 percent), vehicles ($342 million, up 1 percent), ores/slag/ash ($192 million, up 52 percent), food by-products ($167 million, up 40 percent), pharmaceuticals ($158 million, up 89 percent), aircraft/spacecraft ($145 million, down 31 percent), and meat ($103 million, up 19 percent).

The second quarter 2018 export report can be seen at the DEED export and trade statistics website.