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State Exports at $20.7 Billion in 2013

Manufactured exports grow 3.3 percent to record level

May 22, 2014

Madeline Koch, 651-259-7236

Minnesota companies exported $20.7 billion worth of manufactured, mining and agricultural products in 2013, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The export totals were slightly below the record $20.8 billion in exports that Minnesota businesses sent to foreign markets in 2012. Exports of manufactured products, however, reached a record $19.3 billion last year, accounting for 93 percent of the state’s total exports.

Minnesota was 20th among states for export sales in 2013, matching its position in the previous year.

“Exports are a vital part of the state’s economy, with more than 8,600 businesses in Minnesota exporting goods and services,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “With new trade offices opening in South Korea, Brazil and Germany, the state is positioned to continue building export sales around the world and attracting more foreign direct investment.”

North America was the state’s largest global export region, accounting for $7.2 billion in sales in 2013, followed by Asia at $6.5 billion and the European Union at $4.3 billion.

The largest national market was Canada at $5.8 billion, down 8 percent from the previous year.

The state’s other top 10 markets were China ($2.5 billion, down 1 percent), Mexico ($1.5 billion, up 14 percent), Japan ($1.1 billion, down 10 percent), Germany ($760 million, up 4 percent), Belgium ($721 million, up 12 percent), South Korea ($624 million, down 12 percent), the Philippines ($552 million, up 11 percent), the United Kingdom ($528 million, up 3 percent) and the Netherlands ($521 million, up 17 percent).

Mexico is among the state’s fastest-growing major markets, with exports up 14 percent last year, led by big gains in machinery, electrical machinery and food byproducts. Minnesota exports to Mexico have grown 71 percent since the country broke into the state’s top five markets in 2008.

Machinery was the state’s top export product in 2013, with sales reaching $4 billion, down 1 percent.

Other top 10 exports were optics, medical instruments ($3.3 billion, up 7 percent), electrical machinery ($2.5 billion, up 2 percent), vehicles ($2 billion, up 2 percent), plastic ($1 billion, down 3 percent), food byproducts ($613 million, up 19 percent), aircraft, spacecraft ($606 million, up 32 percent), beverages ($350 million, up 71 percent), meat ($324 million, down 3 percent) and iron, steel products ($322 million, up 3 percent).

A surge in demand for aircraft/spacecraft products in the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia contributed to 32 percent growth in that sector. Beverages (denatured alcohol, not for consumption, related to the ethanol industry) climbed 71 percent on strong sales growth to Canada.

The full 2013 annual report can be seen here.

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 Follow us on Twitter at




Upon request, this information can be made available in alternate formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.