MN Reports Record Quarter for Manufactured Exports

Gains in computers and electronics, as well as the machinery sector, drove Minnesota's fourth-quarter manufacturing exports to record levels.

Minnesota exported $4.6 billion in manufactured products during the fourth quarter of 2010-setting a new quarterly record-according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The state's exports were up $631 million, or 16 percent, from the fourth quarter of 2009.

And the record-breaking quarter rounds out a positive year: Exports for all of 2010 increased 17.3 percent to $17.2 billion.

“Asia and North America were particularly strong markets in the fourth quarter, combining to represent about two-thirds of our manufactured exports,” Katie Clark, executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office, a division of DEED, said in a statement. “We will continue to pursue these high-performing markets and will also focus on connecting Minnesota companies with opportunities in emerging markets to increase exports and jobs.”

Canada received $1.3 billion worth of Minnesota's exports-a 22 percent increase from the previous year and the most of any country. The state also increased exports to a long list of other countries, including China and Japan, which received $517 million and $238 million in Minnesota exports, respectively.

There were also significant gains in exports to Mexico ($225 million, up 22 percent), Germany ($197 million, up 17 percent), the United Kingdom ($152 million, up 9 percent), South Korea ($143 million, up 11 percent), the Philippines ($142 million, up 44 percent), Belgium ($135 million, up 11 percent), and Singapore ($125 million, up 15 percent).

Year-over-year growth in the exports of computers and electronics (especially to China) contributed the most to the state's increase in exports. The sector's exports climbed 18 percent to $1.1 billion.

There were also major gains in machinery ($776 million, up 34 percent) and transportation equipment ($632 million, 20 percent).

The “miscellaneous category”-which includes medical devices-was the only sector of Minnesota's top 10 export industries to experience a decline during the fourth quarter. Exports in that sector slid in Ireland, Japan, and the Netherlands.