MHTA – ST. PAUL – Minnesota companies set a fourth-quarter export record, shipping $5.1 billion worth of manufactured, agricultural and mining products at the end of 2011 according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
Manufacturing dominated Minnesota exports during the quarter, accounting for $4.7 billion worth of sales, the eighth straight quarter of year-over-year increases in that sector.
“Strong markets in Asia and North America are driving the growth of Minnesota exports,” said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. “The Minnesota Trade Office is seeing plenty of opportunities right now for companies that want to export to those and other regions of the world.”
Canada was the state’s largest export market, buying nearly $1.5 billion worth of products during the quarter, up 0.9 percent from a year earlier. Other major export customers were China ($644 million, up 10 percent), Mexico ($306 million, up 22.7 percent), Japan ($303 million, down 5.4 percent), South Korea ($184 million, up 25.7 percent), Germany ($162 million, down 20.5 percent), the Philippines ($144 million, up 0.7 percent), Belgium ($130 million, down 9.4 percent), Singapore ($128 million, up 1.4 percent) and the United Kingdom ($127 million, down 19.8 percent).
Machinery led all export categories, accounting for $988 million in sales during the fourth quarter, down 4.6 percent from the same period a year earlier. Other top export products were optical, medical ($705 million, down 3.3 percent), electrical machinery ($704 million, up 3.6 percent), vehicles ($445 million, down 9.3 percent), plastic ($259 million, up 2.1 percent), meat ($127 million, up 83.8 percent), food waste ($126 million, down 4.3 percent), aircraft, spacecraft ($122 million, up 4.9 percent), mineral fuel, oil ($120 million, up 52.6 percent) and ores, slag, ash ($110 million, up 51.7 percent).