Minnesota exports at record $5.9 billion in second quarter 2018, up 15 percent

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

Minnesota represents the 11th 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.

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.

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).

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