Minnesota exports of manufactured, agricultural and mining products grew to $5.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 6 percent increase from the same period a year earlier.

Minnesota was one of 19 states that grew exports more than 5 percent in the quarter, and the state’s export growth bettered overall national growth in the quarter of 4 percent.

“This 6 percent growth was really driven by two markets – China and Mexico,” said Kathleen Motzenbecker, director of the Minnesota Trade Office.

Exports to China – Minnesota’s second-largest market – grew 35 percent to $743 million, driven by medical devices, plastics and recycling and ores, slag and ash.

Sales in Mexico climbed 32 percent to $439 million.

The overall uptick in fourth quarter exports – which do not include exports of services -- was a reversal of a two-year trend of flat or minimal growth.

Manufactured exports, which accounted for $5 billion in state sales during the fourth quarter, grew 7 percent from the same period a year ago, compared with 3 percent growth for manufactured exports nationally.

“I’m always pleased when I see the needle going in the upwards direction,” Motzenbecker said.

Iowa and Wisconsin exports were flat in the fourth quarter, North Dakota's fell 15 percent, South Dakota's fell 6 percent, Michigan and Indiana exports fell slightly, and Illinois exports grew 11 percent.