Minnesota businesses exported $19 billion worth of farm, mining and factory-made goods in 2016, a 4 percent drop from the previous year, according to recent figures released by the state.

To compare, U.S. export orders fell 3 percent last year.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) reported that the slide in the state's trade figures were mainly due to a drop in orders from some of the state's biggest trading partners, such as Canada, Mexico and Japan. Trade with China remained flat.

Even so, Asia and North America remained Minnesota's top two regional markets, with each accounting for about $6.4 billion in sales last year. Annual sales to Asia were unchanged from the previous year, while North American sales were down 7 percent.

Canada, Minnesota's largest trade partner, saw exports fall 9 percent to $4 billion in 2016. Trade with Mexico fell 2 percent to $2.3 billion in sales.

China, in contrast held firm at $2.2 billion in trade with Minnesota manufacturers and grain producers. Exports to Japan fell 9 percent to $1 billion, however, upticks in orders to South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan helped buoy Minnesota's overall trade with Asia.

Exports to Europe fell 5 percent to $4.4 billion. Sales to Africa jumped 30 percent to $185 million.

"Even with a slight decline in exports overall, Minnesota still has a thriving and diverse export sector, with state businesses sending 1,044 different products to 207 countries last year," said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. "Exports are a vital part of our economy, supporting nearly 120,000 jobs in Minnesota."


Canada ($4 billion, down 9 percent)

Mexico ($2.3 billion, down 2 percent),

China ($2.2 billion, unchanged),

Japan ($1 billion, down 9 percent),

South Korea ($822 million, up 7 percent),

Germany ($765 million, down 8 percent),

Belgium ($733 million, down 11 percent),

Singapore ($573 million, up 12 percent),

United Kingdom ($567 million, up 6 percent) and

Taiwan ($459 million, up 9 percent).


Optic/medical instruments - sales of $3.5 billion (down 5 percent).

Machinery ($3.1 billion, down 10 percent),

Electrical machinery ($2.5 billion, down 1 percent),

Vehicles ($1.5 billion, down 16 percent),

Plastic ($1.1 billion, unchanged),

Food byproducts ($575 million, down 9 percent),

Aircraft, spacecraft ($507 million, up 9 percent),

Pharmaceuticals ($340 million, up 2 percent),

Meat ($330 million, up 5 percent) and

Cereals ($312 million, up 60 percent).