facebook app skip to content
Primary navigation

Press Releases


Find press releases from prior years in DEED's digital library.

Minnesota Exports Up 5 Percent in First Quarter

First quarterly growth in more than two years

6/5/2017 10:19:18 AM

Shane Delaney, 651-259-7236

Minnesota companies exported $4.8 billion worth of agricultural, mining and manufactured products in the first quarter of 2017, a 5 percent increase from the same period a year earlier, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The increase was the first quarterly growth for state exports since the fourth quarter of 2014. U.S. exports were up 7 percent in the first quarter.

“Strong export activity is helping to drive a Minnesota economy that is healthy and growing,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “Along with our traditional markets, state companies increasingly are finding export opportunities in places like the Middle East and the Australia-Pacific region.”

State exports to Asia grew 9 percent to $1.6 billion in the first quarter, while exports to North America were up 2 percent, also reaching $1.6 billion. Exports to the European Union and to Central and South America were flat.

Sales climbed 48 percent to $162 million in the Australia-Pacific region and 17 percent to $106 million in the Middle East, led by strong sales growth in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Canada was the largest national market, with sales of $953 million (down 4 percent).

Other countries in the top 10 were Mexico ($617 million, up 11 percent), China ($559 million, up 13 percent), Japan ($291 million, up 15 percent), South Korea ($225 million, up 37 percent), Germany ($192 million, up 6 percent), Belgium ($176 million, down 19 percent), the United Kingdom ($136 million, up 2 percent), Singapore ($131 million, down 9 percent) and the Netherlands ($124 million, up 37 percent).

Optics, medical instruments led all categories with sales of $883 million, up 2 percent from a year ago.

Other major exports were machinery ($817 million, up 1 percent), electrical machinery ($638 million, up 3 percent), vehicles ($338 million, no change), plastics ($315 million, up 13 percent), aircraft, spacecraft ($170 million, up 59 percent), food byproducts ($137 million, down 1 percent), meat ($100 million, up 36 percent), stone, plaster, cement ($89 million, up 20 percent) and pharmaceuticals ($87 million, down 1 percent).

Major gains in aircraft, spacecraft exports (up 59 percent) were driven by growth in sales to New Zealand ($32 million, up from $150,000) and the Netherlands ($31 million, up 806 percent).

Meat climbed 36 percent with strong growth in South Korea, Japan, China and Canada. Canada ($29 million) and China ($19 million) helped push up export sales of stone, plaster, cement by 20 percent.

The full 2017 first quarter export report can be seen at DEED export and trade statistics.

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 its services, visit theDEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.



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.

back to top