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Minnesota Exports at $4.6 Billion in Second Quarter

Exports fell 18% between the second quarters of 2019 and 2020

9/11/2020 11:26:09 AM

Rita Beatty

ST. PAUL – Sales of agriculture, mining and manufacturing exports from Minnesota dropped 18% between the second quarters of 2019 and 2020 to $4.6 billion, according to a report released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). U.S. exports plunged by 30% during the same period.

Minnesota exports to North America, the European Union, and Central & South America were all down 24%, and exports to Asia also fell (down 6%). Exports sank by 30% or more to the Australia-Pacific area, the Middle East and Africa. However, isolated bright spots showed a surge in exports, including in Asia – Taiwan (up 56%), Malaysia (up 46%), Japan (up 3%), Thailand (up 7%) and Vietnam (up 21%) – and elsewhere: Slovakia (up 701%), and Algeria (up 166%).

"DEED's Minnesota Trade Office is committed to helping Minnesota companies open avenues to new markets in new ways – even during the current challenging conditions," said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. "We want to help Minnesota exporters leverage new opportunities that may emerge, and we're exploring ways that we can serve companies with greater flexibility during these unprecedented times."

The Minnesota Trade Office continues to support small and medium-sized Minnesota businesses with grants and technical assistance, as well as connections to potential new markets through foreign offices in strategic locations. In addition, the office quickly pivoted from hosting in-person events to organizing virtual pitch competitions to help attract international start-up companies to do business in Minnesota.

Canada ($1 billion) and China ($648 million) were the state's two largest export markets in the second quarter of 2020. Other market leaders were Japan ($427 million), Mexico ($355 million), Korea ($228 million), and Germany ($194 million).

There were widespread declines in major exports. Optics and medical exports continued to be the state's top exported products ($903 million, down 22%). Other top exports were machinery ($733 million, down 21%), electrical equipment ($542 million, down 30%), and plastics ($329 million, down 6%). However, exports grew strongly for ores, slag and ash ($214 million, up 11%), mineral fuels and oils ($183 million, up 482%), and meat ($138 million, up 54%).

The full second quarter report is available on DEED's website at 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 information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

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