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Minnesota exports dropped in second quarter to $5.2 billion

The overall export total for the quarter was down 3.8 percent but optics/medical devices, the state’s largest export category, was up 5 percent.

Minnesota’s exports in the second quarter fell 3.8 percent from a year ago, largely due to a 21 percent drop in sales to Canada, the state’s largest trading partner.  

Sales to China and Mexico, though, were up for the quarter, according to Friday’s report from the state Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The state exported $5.2 billion in goods in the quarter. Nationally, exports were down 5.6 percent for the quarter, the report said.

As for Canada’s decline, DEED’s Madeline Koch said:

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“Canada fueled the downward trends in exports of ores/slag/ash (down 84 percent overall to $18 million), vehicles (down 14 percent overall to $403 million), and mineral fuels (down 50 percent overall to $21 million).

“Especially for mineral fuels and iron ores (a sub-product of ores/slag/ash), demand from major global markets was sharply down in general in the 2nd quarter of 2015.

“In mineral fuels and vehicles, the state has many smaller country markets that are showing strong growth potential.”

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said:

“The positive highlight is that Minnesota exports to six of our top 10 national markets increased from a year ago,Sales to Germany, South Korea and Taiwan increased by double-digits, and Mexico continues to be a healthy and growing market for state exporters.”

By region, state exports were up 5 percent in Europe, down less than 1 percent in Asia but down 14 percent in North American because of the Canadian swoon.

In smaller markets, the Australia-Pacific region was up 11 percent to $173 million and the Middle East was up 23 percent to $106 million. 

 By country, the state’s largest export markets for the quarter were:

  • Canada, $1.13 billion 
  • China $594 million
  • Mexico, $575 million
  • Japan, $306 million
  • Germany, $222 million
  • Belgium, $220 million
  • South Korea, $204 million
  • Singapore, $133 million
  • United Kingdom, $130 million
  • Taiwan, $119 million

And the biggest export product for the state in the quarter were:

  • Optics/medical $964 million, up 5 percent from the same period a year ago. 
  • Machinery ($919 million, up 1 percent)
  • Electrical machinery ($642 million, down 2 percent)
  • Vehicles ($403 million, down 14 percent)
  • Plastic ($296 million, up 1 percent)
  • Food byproducts ($187 million, up 9 percent)
  • Aircraft, spacecraft ($149 million, no change)
  • Iron, steel products ($94 million, up 2 percent)
  • Meat ($94 million, down 11 percent)
  • Pharmaceutical products ($85 million, up 53 percent)