State exports set fourth-quarter recordMinnesota companies exported $5.1 billion worth of manufactured, agricultural and mining products in the fourth quarter of 2011, a fourth-quarter record that was 1.4 percent higher than the same period a year earlier, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
Minnesota companies exported $5.1 billion worth of manufactured, agricultural and mining products in the fourth quarter of 2011, a fourth-quarter record that was 1.4 percent higher than the same period a year earlier, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
Manufacturing dominated Minnesota exports during the quarter, accounting for $4.7 billion worth of sales, the eighth straight quarter of year-over-year increases in that sector.
"Strong markets in Asia and North America are driving the growth of Minnesota exports," said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. "The Minnesota Trade Office is seeing plenty of opportunities right now for companies that want to export to those and other regions of the world."
"We are pleased to see Minnesota posted the highest export numbers the state has ever had in the fourth quarter," added Katie Clark, executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO). "Small and mid-sized companies across the state are having great success growing their business through exporting. There is demand for Minnesota's high-quality products all over the world."
Canada was the state's largest export market, buying nearly $1.5 billion worth of products during the quarter, up 0.9 percent from a year earlier. Other major export customers were China ($644 million, up 10 percent), Mexico ($306 million, up 22.7 percent), Japan ($303 million, down 5.4 percent), South Korea ($184 million, up 25.7 percent), Germany ($162 million, down 20.5 percent), the Philippines ($144 million, up 0.7 percent), Belgium ($130 million, down 9.4 percent), Singapore ($128 million, up 1.4 percent) and the United Kingdom ($127 million, down 19.8 percent).
Machinery led all export categories, accounting for $988 million in sales during the fourth quarter, down 4.6 percent from the same period a year earlier. Other top export products were optical, medical ($705 million, down 3.3 percent), electrical machinery ($704 million, up 3.6 percent), vehicles ($445 million, down 9.3 percent), plastic ($259 million, up 2.1 percent), meat ($127 million, up 83.8 percent), food waste ($126 million, down 4.3 percent), aircraft, spacecraft ($122 million, up 4.9 percent), mineral fuel, oil ($120 million, up 52.6 percent) and ores, slag, ash ($110 million, up 51.7 percent).
A strong quarter for meat exports (up nearly 84 percent) was attributed to major demand for fresh or frozen pork in China, with sales climbing from $2 million to $34 million from the previous year. Meats also were strong in South Korea ($23 million, up 34 percent) and Mexico ($17 million, up 52 percent).
Mineral fuel and oil products also had a strong quarter (up nearly 53 percent), with Canada accounting for virtually the entire market at $118 million. The ores, slag, ash (iron ores) category climbed nearly 52 percent, with sales to China leaping from $0 to $37 million in the past year.
Vehicles posted the biggest drop, primarily because of declines in truck sales (down 54 percent) and public transportation vehicles (down 86 percent). Snowmobiles were a highlight in this category, climbing 52 percent from a year earlier, largely because of increased sales to Canada and Finland.
The full fourth-quarter report is available at www.tinyurl.com/MinnesotaExports.