MN-Manufactured Exports Up 19 Percent in Q2

The $4.3 billion in goods exported during the quarter was close to the all-time second-quarter high of $4.4 billion, which was achieved in 2008.

Minnesota manufacturers exported $4.3 billion worth of goods out of the country in the second quarter of 2010-a 19 percent increase from the same period in 2009 and another sign that the state's economy is rebounding from the recession.

Manufactured exports increased by $681 million from last year's second period, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The most-recent export figure was close to the all-time second-quarter high of $4.4 billion, which was achieved in 2008.

Through the first six months of the year, Minnesota exports were up 18 percent from the same period in 2009; U.S. exports, by contrast, increased 22 percent during that time.

“Minnesota's strong export showing in the second quarter is a healthy sign for the state economy,” said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. “The state's manufacturing sector increasingly relies on strong foreign sales, with exports responsible for one in six jobs in the industry.”

Exports to nine of the state's top 10 foreign markets climbed within the quarter. Canada, the largest export partner, purchased $1.1 billion worth of Minnesota-made products, representing a 16 percent increase from the second quarter of 2009.

Other top foreign customers were China ($448 million, up 36 percent), Japan ($222 million, up 36 percent), Mexico ($207 million, up 42 percent), Germany ($177 million, up 23 percent), South Korea ($160 million, up 11 percent), Belgium ($147 million, up 7 percent), the Netherlands ($143 million, up 49 percent), the United Kingdom ($142 million, down 3 percent), and Singapore ($137 million, up 58 percent).

Minnesota exports to Asia jumped 36 percent during the quarter to $1.4 billion, and the state's exports to North America climbed 20 percent to $1.3 billion. Ireland was one of the few export markets to show a large drop during the second quarter; sales to the country declined 51 percent to $109 million, primarily due to lower demand for medical products.

Minnesota's largest export sector is computers and electronics, which climbed 22 percent from last year's second quarter to $1 billion. The other top three categories are machinery ($796 million, up 16 percent), transportation equipment ($488 million, up 38 percent), and miscellaneous products, including medical ($405 million, down 12 percent).

Last week, Governor Tim Pawlenty led a trade mission to China and Japan that was attended by business and agricultural leaders in the state. The mission aimed to further strengthen Minnesota's ties to those markets.