Minnesota exports post record second quarterMinnesota exports of manufactured, agricultural and mining products grew 12 percent from a year ago to $5.3 billion in the second quarter of 2011, according to figures released yesterday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
ST. PAUL - Minnesota exports of manufactured, agricultural and mining products grew 12 percent from a year ago to $5.3 billion in the second quarter of 2011, according to figures released yesterday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
The agency said total exports in the three categories were a record high for any quarter since the state began tracking exports. Manufacturing dominated the three major export categories, accounting for $4.7 billion in sales, up 10 percent from the same quarter one year ago.
"This is great news that shows Minnesota is continuing the momentum that began last year and carried through our record first quarter," said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. "Strong exports are contributing to business growth and creating jobs in Minnesota."
Canada was Minnesota's largest export market during the quarter, accounting for $1.6 billion in sales, up 18 percent from a year ago.
Other top 10 markets were China ($568 million, up 21 percent), Japan ($384 million, up 43 percent), Mexico ($304 million, up 25 percent), Belgium ($207 million, up 25 percent), Germany ($196 million, down 9 percent), South Korea ($193 million, up 10 percent), United Kingdom ($150 million, up 1 percent), Singapore ($141 million, up 1 percent) and Taiwan ($133 million, up 6 percent).
By global region, North America accounted for 35 percent of state exports sales, followed by Asia at 34 percent and the European Union at 20 percent.
The top export category was machinery, which totaled $1 billion in the second quarter, down 2 percent from a year ago. The state's other major export categories were optic, medical instruments ($729 million, up 1 percent), electrical machinery ($698 million, up 22 percent), vehicles ($408 million, up 24 percent), plastics ($296 million, up 3 percent), cereals ($197 million, up 296 percent), mineral, fuel, oil ($166 million, up 237 percent), aircraft, spacecraft ($148 million, up 2 percent), ores, slag, ash ($128 million, down 44 percent), and food waste ($124 million, up 24 percent).
The machinery category was driven by electrical machinery, which grew 22 percent in the past year to $698 million for such products as industrial furnaces, integrated circuits and telecommunications equipment.
The big jump in cereal exports was led by Japan, where sales were up 57 percent from a year ago. Corn accounts for a large segment of cereal exports, with corn sales to Japan climbing from $18 million to $112 million in the past year, followed by strong growth in Mexico and South Korea.
Medical exports declined by less than 1 percent during the quarter, a sign of improvement in a sector that has seen declining sales for two years. Sales grew in China (up 15 percent), Canada (up 25 percent) and South Korea (up 62 percent).
The full second quarter report is available at www.tinyurl.com/MinnesotaExports.
To encourage growth in exports to South Korea, Minnesota's sixth-largest export market, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will lead a trade mission to that country from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1. The trade mission, organized by the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO), will include a briefing at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, networking events with Korean companies, and meetings with Korean industry leaders, government officials and representatives from companies interested in buying Minnesota products and investing in operations in Minnesota.
Gov. Dayton will be accompanied by a delegation of Minnesota companies, agricultural organizations and academic institutions interested in furthering business relationships and partnerships for Minnesota. EarthClean, a Minnesota-based start-up company, hopes to impress Korean professionals with its certified biodegradable and nontoxic gel used to fight wildfires. Susan Rani, the president and CEO of Rani Engineering, is joining the delegation to explore Korea's railway system to attract new business for her firm. This trip to Korea marks Rani's 40th anniversary of when she moved from Korea to Minnesota, without knowing a word of English.
The University of Minnesota Law School, St. Cloud State University and Globe University will also participate to forge new relationships with universities and attract talented Korean students to study in Minnesota. Agricultural groups, such as the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, also are looking to increase exports through this trade mission.
"This is Minnesota's first trade mission to Korea, one of our top export markets with great potential for future growth," said MTO Executive Director Katie Clark. "We're focused on making this a productive visit for all involved and look forward to developing new business partnerships that will create jobs here in Minnesota."
The full delegation list for the South Korean trade mission can be seen at www.tinyurl.com/SouthKoreaDelegation.
MTO, an office within DEED, is focused on increasing state export sales in foreign markets. MTO promotes international trade by providing export technical assistance, export education and training, and one-on-one consulting to Minnesota companies interested to sell manufactured goods and services in the international marketplace.