Minnesota’s export activity is off to a good start for 2019, as exports hit $5.4 billion in the first quarter, marking a 1.5 percent increase from the same time last year. The growth tops the national average of 1.4 percent, according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
Overall, the largest market growth occurred in Europe, with a 14 percent increase in export business, but the state also made gains in North America, where it logged a 4 percent increase. In fact, Minnesota’s largest export markets for the quarter were Canada ($1 billion) and Mexico ($621 million). Also noted in the report, increased activity with Mexico resulted in the largest value gain across all markets.
“Even within an uncertain and challenging trade environment, Minnesota businesses continue to pursue their export strategies, expanding their reach into world markets,” says DEED commissioner Steve Grove, in a statement. “Minnesota continues to strengthen its business relationships in countries around the world.”
However, the export market also saw declines in certain markets. Exports to Asia fell 8 percent, while Central and South America exports fell 1 percent.
Still, several countries within those regions generated positive export business for Minnesota. Other strong markets included China, Japan, Germany, Korea, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Singapore, and France.
“When our exporters succeed around the world, they grow our state’s economy, create jobs and build global reputations for our homegrown brands,” says Gov. Tim Walz.
Minnesota’s main export products in the first quarter were optics and medical goods, with a value of $1.1 billion. This marks a 6 percent year-over-year increase in export of such goods. Other top performing product categories were machinery, electrical equipment, plastics, vehicles, pharmaceuticals, food by-products, and aircraft and spacecraft.
The full export report from DEED can be read here.