Minnesota exports of goods grew 10 percent between 2017 and 2018, reaching a record high of $23 billion, according to a report released recently by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). U.S. exports grew 8 percent during the same period.

Minnesota’s solid export performance led to the state’s ranking rising to 20th highest in exports among all states in 2018, up from 23rd last year. Export growth was strong, even within an environment of continued uncertainty created by changing trade policies in the U.S. and trading partners.

“Minnesota businesses exported more than 1,000 different products to over 200 countries last year,” said Gov. Tim Walz. “These businesses are expanding sales to their core customers, as well as finding new markets around the world.”

“Exports continue to play a major role in Minnesota’s economy, supporting nearly 118,000 jobs across the state,” said Steve Grove, DEED commissioner. “The Minnesota Trade Office here at DEED plays no small part in that effort – assisting more than 1,500 small and medium-sized business owners with export counseling and technical assistance last year.”

Canada ($4.8 billion) and China ($2.8 billion) were the state’s two largest export markets in 2018 and also contributed the largest gains in value.  Other top 10 export markets were Mexico ($2.4 billion), Japan ($1.5 billion), Germany ($1.1 billion), Korea ($1.0 billion), Singapore ($656 million), the United Kingdom ($621 million), Belgium ($603 million) and the Philippines ($496 million).

Optic and medical goods were the top exported products for Minnesota at $4.5 billion and led in growth with gains of $719 million (or up 19 percent). Other top exports were machinery ($3.5 billion), electrical equipment ($3.1 billion), plastics ($1.5 billion), vehicles ($1.4 billion), food by-products ($633 million), pharmaceuticals ($612 million) ores, slag and ash ($573 million), aircraft and spacecraft ($484 million) and meat ($373 million). For more details about the report and DEED services, visit mn.gov/deed.

– Photo courtesy of the Internet Public Domain