Minnesota exports fall 2% in 2019

Published 7:51 pm Monday, March 2, 2020

Minnesota exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products fell 2% between 2018 and 2019 to $22.2 billion, according to a report released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. U.S. exports fell 1% in 2019.

The year-over-year decline in exports follows a record year for Minnesota exports in 2018, when they reached $22.7 billion, up 10% from 2017. Exports also increased in 2017, up 8% from 2016. 

“International exports are a critically important part of Minnesota’s economy, accounting for billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “The Minnesota Trade Office works hard to support exporters and expand markets in our fast-changing global economy.”

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Minnesota’s top five export markets in 2019 were: Canada at $4.7 billion, China at $2.5 billion, Mexico at $2.4 billion, Japan at $1.5 billion and Germany at $1.1 billion.

Among the state’s ten largest exports, pharmaceutical goods ($637 million, up 7%) and optics and medical goods ($4.6 billion, up 2%) had the largest growth from 2018 to 2019. Mineral fuels ($320 million, up 106%) also performed strongly, driven by shipments to Canada (up 142%).

Exports to Asia sank 5% between 2018 and 2019 to $8 billion, with exports to China (down 9%) tumbling the most in this region.

Meanwhile, exports to North America were unchanged, with the 4% gain in exports to Mexico balancing out a 2% dip to Canada. Exports to the European Union were stable, while exports to other European markets were up 10%, including high growth to Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia.

Minnesota slipped from 20th in 2018 to 21st in 2019 in ranking among 50 states for amount of exports. However, its ranking was still higher than in 2017 (23rd).

The full annual export report is available at Export and Trade Statistics on the DEED website. Data for the fourth quarter of 2019 is also available online.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency supporting business development, recruitment, expansion and retention workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.