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Minnesota exports up this quarter, seen as sign of recovery

Minnesota manufacturing firms reported exports in the year’s first quarter were up 17 percent from the same period last year.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) said that state manufacturers exported products wo

Minnesota manufacturing firms reported exports in the year’s first quarter were up 17 percent from the same period last year.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) said that state manufacturers exported products worth $3.9 billion in the first quarter, compared with exports of $3.4 billion during the same period in 2009.

Said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy:

“The improving export market is helping Minnesota businesses and is a sign that the global economy is recovering. Asia was particularly strong during the quarter, with sales to the region jumping 75 percent from a year ago.”

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Canada tops the list of trading partners, with $994 million worth of Minnesota-made products imported there during the quarter, up 19 percent from a year ago.

The state reports these other top markets:

  • China ($395 million, up 67 percent)
  • Japan ($242 million, up 56 percent)
  • Mexico ($193 million, up 23 percent)
  • Germany ($171 million, down 11 percent
  • South Korea ($153 million, up 66 percent)
  • United Kingdom ($141 million, up 6 percent)
  • Belgium ($141 million, down 6 percent)
  • Ireland ($120 million, down 61 percent)
  • Singapore ($118 million, up 33 percent)

Top export sector for the state was computers and electronics, with $924 million in total sales, up 18 percent from a year ago. Other categories:

  • Machinery ($662 million, up 11 percent)
  • Transportation equipment ($434 million, up 24 percent)
  • Miscellaneous, including medical devices ($432 million, down 17 percent)
  • Food ($312 million, up 12 percent)
  • Chemicals ($264 million, up 58 percent)
  • Paper ($181 million, up 68 percent)
  • Electrical equipment ($162 million, down 1 percent)
  • Fabricated metal ($135 million, up 24 percent)
  • Plastics and rubber ($122 million, up 46 percent)

State officials noted that the category of miscellaneous, including medical devices, dropped the most during the period because sales to Ireland declined from $220 million to $62 million in the past year. Sales of those goods, however, performed strongly in China, Japan and Germany.