Minnesota Exports

Minnesota’s exports from manufacturing industries increased to US$4.2 billion in the first quarter of 2008, growing 8.2 percent (or US$317 million) since the first quarter of 2007. U.S. manufactured exports grew by 14.3 percent during this period. 

The Minnesota manufacturing industries that increased exports the most during this period were transportation, food, and computer and electronics goods. In contrast, the largest increases in U.S. exports were from the petroleum, chemicals and primary metals products industries.


The state’s export gains were widespread across seven of its top 10 markets and nine of its top 10 industries.


North American Markets and the Philippines Lead Growth Among Top Markets  

§    Minnesota businesses made the largest value gains in exports to Canada (up 27 percent or US$255 million), the Philippines (up 56 million or US$61 million) and Mexico (up 46 percent or US$56 million). Increased export sales in Canada relied on transportation equipment, food products and machinery.

§    The top three exporting industries to Mexico – food, machinery, and computers and electronics – fueled export growth. Parts for lifting equipment and centrifuges/filters were machinery areas that grew strongly.

§    Belgium continued to be a reliable source of export growth for Minnesota, as increased exports of machinery (especially spraying equipment) grew 52 percent to US$64 million.

§    Sales to Ireland plummeted – driven by the decline in medical-related exports – dropping it to seventh among the state’s 10 largest markets in the first quarter of 2008. This decline was likely related to a shift in intra-company shipments of medical-related products from international to domestic markets.  

Increased Exports from Most Industries Offset Decreased Medical Products Exports  

§    All industries except two – miscellaneous (including medical) products and petroleum/coal products – experienced an increase in exports between the first quarters of 2007 and 2008.

§    Demand for the state’s food products jumped 44 percent (or US$112 million), with two main markets exhibiting the largest gains: Canada (up 51 percent to US$155 million) and Mexico (up 34 percent to US$57 million).

§    Computers and electronics products performed well in the Philippines (particularly integrated circuits) and France (particularly computers and related components).

§    Minnesota exports of transportation equipment grew briskly, increasing by 20 percent (or US$91 million) and outpacing national export growth (of 9 percent).

§    Exports of miscellaneous products (primarily medical products for Minnesota) fell by 26 percent as Ireland cut its purchases by 64 percent to US$103 million. U.S. exports of these goods grew almost 20 percent, mainly to Belgium, Israel and China.  

Export Growth in Electrical Equipment, Transportation Equipment and Food Products Continues                          

§    Electrical Machinery: Growth was strongly related to integrated circuits (mainly due to the Philippines) and telecommunications equipment (based on increased demand in Germany, China, the Netherlands and others).

§    Vehicles, Not Railway: Increased international sales of passenger vehicles (including snowmobiles and ATVs) and small trucks, mainly to Canada, drove much of the growth in this area.

§    Optic Equipment, Medical Instruments: The large drop in exports largely resulted from the 44 percent fall in portable, carried or worn medical exports, mostly to Ireland. However, these trends may be attributable to changing intra-company operations, rather than to declines in actual industry sales.

§    Food Waste, Animal Feed: Most of these food products are soybean residues (up 75 percent) and residues from brewing/sugar/starch manufacturing (up 106 percent). Canada contributed most of the growth.   

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). Past issues may be viewed at www.exportminnesota.com/itradestats.htm and results from manufacturing conditions surveys are located at www.deed.state.mn.us/facts/manufacturing.htm on DEED’s Web site.  Exports by state (and by North American Industry Classification System industries) are collected by the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC) and are distributed by the World Institute of Social and Economic Research (WISER). Other export data based on the Harmonized Tariff System (Schedule B) are collected by the USDOC and distributed by the Global Trade Information Services. 

Terms Of Use

Terms of Use All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written permission of the publisher. For permission requests, contact [email protected] with subject line “Permission request.”


CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

CHINAINSIGHT is the only English-language American newspaper to focus exclusively on connections between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Our goal is to develop a mutual understanding of each other’s cultures and business environments and to foster U.S.-China cultural and business harmony.