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

The year-over-year decline in exports follows a record year for Minnesota exports in 2018, when they reached $22.7 billion. That was up 10 percent from 2017. Exports also increased in 2017 and were up 8 percent 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 Steve Grove, DEED commissioner. “The Minnesota trade office works hard to support ex-porters and expand markets in our fast-changing global economy.”

Minnesota’s top five export markets during 2019 were:

• Canada at $4.7 billion

• China at $2.5 billion

• Mexico at $2.4 billion

• Japan at $1.5 billion

• Germany at $1.1 billion  

Among the state’s 10 largest exports, pharmaceutical goods ($637 million, up 7 percent) and optics and medical goods ($4.6 billion, up 2 percent) had the largest growth from 2018 to 2019. Mineral fuels ($320 million, up 106 percent) also performed strongly, driven by shipments to Canada (up 142 percent).

Exports to Asia sank 5 percent between 2018 and 2019 to $8 billion, with exports to China (down 9 percent) tumbling the most in this region. Meanwhile, exports to North America were unchanged, with the 4 percent gain in exports to Mexico balancing out a 2 percent dip to Canada.

Exports to the European Union were stable, while exports to other European markets were up 10 percent, 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 Web site. 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 Web site at www.mn.gov/deed.