What are the forces moving the Minnesota economy? Adam Belz tries to identify the trends and show the connections between Minnesota and the larger U.S. and global economies. You can connect with him on Twitter: @adambelz

Minnesota exports stay pretty much flat in 2013

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends, Economics Updated: May 22, 2014 - 10:13 AM

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.

That’s slightly below Minnesota’s record $20.8 billion in exports in 2012. Declining exports to Canada, China, Japan and South Korea offset growth in Mexico, Germany, Belgium and the Philippines.

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

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. Mexico, however, at $1.5 billion, was up 14 percent. Exports to Germany and Belgium also grew.

Mexico is among the state’s fastest-growing major markets, 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.

“Exports are a vital part of the state’s economy, with more than 8,600 businesses in Minnesota exporting goods and services,” said Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development, in a statement. “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.”

From DEED:

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).

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 exports report can be seen here.

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