MHTA – Minnesota exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products climbed to a record $5.4 billion in the second quarter of 2012, breaking the previous record of $5.3 billion in the same quarter a year ago, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
Manufacturing accounted for the largest share of the state’s exports in the second quarter, reaching $4.9 billion, up 3.4 percent from the same period last year.
“Our second quarter results show that Minnesota companies are continuing to grow their business overseas, albeit at a slower pace due to the economic downturn in the EU,” said Katie Clark, executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office. “Many small and mid-sized companies are creating new jobs and a healthier economy in Minnesota through growing their export business.”
North America, which accounts for 36 percent of state exports, had a strong quarter, climbing 3.5 percent to $1.9 billion. Sales dropped to the state’s next two biggest global regions, however, falling by 1.2 percent to $1.8 billion in Asia and 5 percent to $1 billion in the European Union.
Canada was Minnesota’s largest country market with sales of $1.6 billion, an increase of 2.8 percent from one year ago. Other top markets were China ($747 million, up 32.1 percent), Mexico ($325 million, up 6.9 percent), Japan ($282 million, down 26.5 percent), Germany ($193 million, down 1.1 percent), South Korea ($192 million, down 0.4 percent), Belgium ($180 million, down 13.1 percent), Australia ($130 million, up 3.4 percent), Singapore ($125 million, down 11.5 percent) and Taiwan ($120 million, down 10 percent).
Machinery is the state’s top export, with sales climbing 9.1 percent from a year ago to $1.1 billion. Other top segments were optical, medical instruments ($810 million, up 11 percent), electrical machinery ($606 million, down 13.2 percent), vehicles ($483 million, up 17.3 percent), plastic ($288 million, down 3.6 percent), ores, slag and ash ($267 million, up 108.6 percent), mineral fuel, oil ($167 million, up 0.6 percent), aircraft, spacecraft ($128 million, down 13.9 percent), food waste ($127 million, up 2 percent) and meat ($77 million, down 10.3 percent).
The main growth segment within machinery was computers and components (up 93 percent to $225 million) and harvest cleaning machinery (up 200 percent to $89 million).
Within optical, medical instruments, medical exports climbed 11 percent to $714 million, the first growth in that sector during the second quarter since 2007.
Electrical machinery dropped sharply (down 13.2 percent to $606 million), largely because of declines in sales for integrated circuits, semiconductors and industrial furnaces. Year-to-date, exports are up 2 percent from the same period a year ago at $10.3 billion.
The Minnesota Trade Office (MTO), an office of DEED, is focused on increasing state export sales in foreign markets. MTO promotes international trade by providing export information, export education and training, and one-on-one counseling to Minnesota companies that wish to sell manufactured goods and services in the international marketplace.