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Minnesota Exports Jump to Record $23 Billion in 2018

Canada and China lead in export gains

3/27/2019 8:19:04 AM

Contact: Shane Delaney

ST. PAUL – Minnesota exports of goods grew 10 percent between 2017 and 2018, reaching a record high of $23 billion, according to a report released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). U.S. exports grew 8 percent during the same period.

Minnesota’s solid export performance led to the state’s ranking rising to 20th highest in exports among all states in 2018, up from 23rd last year. Export growth was strong, even within an environment of continued uncertainty created by changing trade policies in the U.S. and trading partners.

“Minnesota businesses exported more than 1,000 different products to over 200 countries last year,” said Governor Tim Walz. “These businesses are expanding sales to their core customers as well as finding new markets around the world.”

“Exports continue to play a major role in Minnesota’s economy, supporting nearly 118,000 jobs across the state,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “The Minnesota Trade Office here at DEED plays no small part in that effort – assisting more than 1,500 small and medium-sized business owners with export counseling and technical assistance last year.”

Canada ($4.8 billion) and China ($2.8 billion) were the state’s two largest export markets in 2018 and also contributed the largest gains in value. Other top 10 export markets were Mexico ($2.4 billion), Japan ($1.5 billion), Germany ($1.1 billion), Korea ($1.0 billion), Singapore ($656 million), the United Kingdom ($621 million), Belgium ($603 million) and the Philippines ($496 million).

Optic and medical goods were the top exported products for Minnesota at $4.5 billion, and led in growth with gains of $719 million (or up 19 percent). Other top exports were machinery ($3.5 billion), electrical equipment ($3.1 billion), plastics ($1.5 billion), vehicles ($1.4 billion), food by-products ($633 million), pharmaceuticals ($612 million) ores, slag and ash ($573 million), aircraft and spacecraft ($484 million) and meat ($373 million).

The full 2018 annual export report is available DEED’s website at Export and Trade Statistics. Data for the fourth quarter of 2018 is also available online. The release of that data was delayed due to the federal government shutdown at the beginning of 2019.

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 the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

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