Minnesota’s export activity totaled $5.7 billion in the second quarter of 2019, marking a 4 percent year-over-year drop, according to a report by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The agency measures exports in terms of agriculture, mining, and manufacturing output.
“Countermeasures on U.S. exports by major trading partners have created business uncertainty in trade this quarter,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove in a press release. “DEED and the Minnesota Trade Office will continue to assist businesses across the state as they navigate this uncertainty.”
Minnesota fared slightly worse this quarter than the country as a whole, as U.S. exports fell year-over-year by just 3 percent.
Minnesota’s export losses came primarily in South America, where exports were down 19 percent. The remainder of the decline stems from a 6 percent downturn in North America and a 4 percent downturn in Asia. In some markets, though, exports increased. These include Japan (up 6 percent), Germany (up 8 percent), and Australia (up 18 percent).
Overall, the state’s export business in the second quarter improved on the year from $5.4 billion in the first quarter.
The largest export markets for the second quarter were Canada and China, with export trade valued at $1.2 billion, and $696 million, respectively. As was the case in 2018, optics and medical products were Minnesota’s top exports, followed by machinery, electrical equipment, and plastics.
In DEED’s news release, Gov. Tim Walz said he’s hopeful positive signs of growth continue.
“Minnesota is committed to unleashing economic opportunities across the globe,” he said. “That’s why I’m traveling to Tokyo and Seoul and making the case directly to international decision-makers that Minnesota is a great place to do business.”
The full second quarter report can be read here.