Minnesota exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products grew 1.2 percent (up US$64 million) between the second quarters of 2011 and 2012 to US$5.4 billion. That broke the previous quarterly record of US$5.3 billion, set in the second quarter last year. U.S. export growth was 5.6 percent during the quarter.

Among all states, Minnesota ranked 20th in exports. Among the 20 largest exporting states, only Massachusetts experienced decreased exports during the period (down 18 percent).

Minnesota manufactured exports were up 3.4 percent to US$4.9 billion in the quarter, while U.S. manufactured exports increased 7.5 percent.

Strong Gains in Sales to the Americas Drives Growth

• North America (up 3.5 percent to US$1.9 billion) and Central and South America (up 16 percent to US$252 million) were top-performing regions, increasing state exports by US$65 million and US$35 million, respectively. Canada and Mexico both contributed strong gains to North American markets. In Central and South America, export gains were the largest to Chile (up 93 percent to US$33 million), Costa Rica (up 80 percent to US$20 million) and Venezuela (up 90 percent to US$14 million).

• Minnesota sales to Asia fell 1.2 percent to US$1.8 billion. Exports declined sharply to Malaysia, Thailand and Japan by more than 20 percent, as well as by more moderate rates to other major Asian markets such as Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines. China had the only major increase, with exports jumping 32 percent to US$747 million (a gain of almost US$182 million).

• Minnesota exports declined by 5 percent to US$1 billion to the European Union (EU). Major EU markets with weak sales included the United Kingdom (down 24 percent), Belgium (down 13 percent) and Spain (down 55 percent). In sharp contrast, state exports grew 18 percent to US$107 million to other European countries (outside the EU), led by gains of 106 percent (to US$35 million) to Russia.

Machinery, Medical Instruments, Vehicles and Ores Show Strong Growth

• Machinery, the state’s largest export, increased sales by 9 percent (or by US$94 million) to US$1.1 billion between the second quarters of 2011 and 2012. The main growing product segments were computers and components (up 93 percent to US$225 million), with strong export gains in Italy, Germany and France, and harvest cleaning machinery (up 200 percent to US$89 million), with much of the growth in China, where sales were up 2,346 percent to US$57 million.

• Minnesota’s international sales of vehicle products expanded by 17 percent to US$483 million, with the largest overall gains occurring in Mexico and Belgium. The highest-performing segments were vehicle parts (up 89 percent to US$76 million), including radiators and drive axles/differentials, particularly to Mexico, and special purpose vehicles (up 192 percent to US$66 million), with nearly 90 percent of the sales in Canada.

• Medical exports (proxy of HS 9018 to HS 9033) rebounded to US$714 million, gaining 11 percent in the second quarter of 2012, representing the first positive growth trend in the second quarter since 2007. While medical exports declined the most to Germany, France, Thailand and Canada, they grew strongly to the current top two medical markets: China (up 34 percent to US$102 million) and Belgium (up 44 percent to US$83 million). Strong growing segments were orthopedic/artificial body parts (particularly to China and Belgium), instruments for physical analysis (particularly to China and Korea), and miscellaneous medical machinery (particularly to Korea and Japan).

• Exports of ores, slag and ash (mainly iron ores) gained 109 percent to US$267 million. China became the state’s top market for ores with US$154 million in sales in the second quarter of 2012, up from no sales in the same period last year. Sales were flat to Minnesota’s former primary market for ores, Canada (US$113 million).

• Exports of electrical machinery dropped sharply overall (down 13 percent to US$606 million), largely due to the drop in demand for integrated circuits (down 29 percent to US$141 million), especially to the Philippines, Thailand and other countries. Other drops occurred in semiconductors (down 31 percent to US$23 million), largely because of weaker demand in Japan, Germany and other countries, and industrial furnaces (down 79 percent to US$12 million), primarily due to exports falling by 95 percent to US$2 million to China.

Minnesota Quarterly Export Statistics is the most current resource available for tracking the state’s manufactured export trends and is prepared for the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO) by the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) Analysis and Evaluation Office (Thu-Mai Ho-Kim, 651-259-7180). Since the first quarter 2011, the quarterly and annual statistics reports have primarily covered export data based on the Harmonized Tariff System (Schedule B), collected by the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC) and distributed by the Global Trade Information Services. Reports based on 2011 data and later may not be comparable to past reports that were based on the North American Industry Classification System industries (NAICS), collected by the USDOC and distributed by the World Institute of Social and Economic Research. All reports are available on the DEED website on the Export Statistics page (www.PositivelyMinnesota.com/Data_Publications/Data/Export_Statistics/index.aspx).

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