Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Minnesota exports up slightly to $20.6 billion in 2012, breaking annual record

State exports were up 1.2 percent in 2012 to a record-breaking $20.6 billion.

Minnesota’s exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products rose 1.2 percent in 2012, to $20.6 billion. That’s a record for the state, according to Department of Employment and Economic Development officials.

Said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben:

“Minnesota exports have been on a record-setting pace for more than two years and have contributed to new jobs and investment in our state. This growth signifies an opportunity for Minnesota and Minnesota businesses, and it is critical that we continue to build on this success.”

The state’s largest export markets were:

  • Canada, ($6 billion, up 2.7 percent)
  • China ($2.5 billion, up 7.1 percent)
  • Mexico ($1.3 billion, up 6.7 percent)
  • South Korea ($707 million, up 0.8 percent)
  • Belgium ($640 million, up 2.7 percent)
  • Taiwan ($489 million, up 0.1 percent)

Top export products for the year:

  • Machinery ($4 billion in sales, up 2.2 percent from the previous year)
  • Optic, medical instruments ($3.1 billion, up 10.4 percent)
  • Vehicles ($1.9 billion, up 10.4 percent)
  • Ores, slag, ash ($668 million, up 68.5 percent)
  • Food waste ($516 million, up 6.8 percent)
  • Mineral fuel, oil ($502 million, up 15.6 percent)

The exports announcement includes news that Gov. Dayton plans  a trade mission to Germany, Sweden and Norway in June to try to increase state exports, attract investment and meet existing and potential customers.