mto fig 1Minnesota exports, including agricultural, mining and manufactured products, grew almost 4 percent to US$5.1 billion in the third quarter of 2011. The national export growth rate was almost 18 percent. Vermont (down 8 percent) and Connecticut (down 7 percent) were the only states with decreased exports during this period.


For the manufacturing sector alone, Minnesota exports were up almost 5 percent to US$4.6 billion in the third quarter of 2011, while U.S. manufactured exports increased about 17 percent.

Note: Reports based on 2011 data cover export data based on the Harmonized System, which covers manufactured and non-manufactured exports, such as agriculture and mining, but not services.

Strong Demand in Asia and North America Drives Growth

The state's strongest-performing regions were Asia and North America. Minnesota exports to North America increased 5 percent (or up US$87 million) to US$1.9 billion, with strong gains to Mexico (up 47 percent to US$356 million). The state's exports to Asia jumped 6 percent to US$1.6 billion (or up US$95 million), led by China, Singapore and Japan.

Minnesota sales jumped 14 percent to US$138 million to the Australia-Pacific region – led by Australia (up 11 percent to US$119 million, ranked 11th) – and 7 percent to US$92 million to the Middle East.

State export trends were mixed in the European Union among the major markets, although the overall trend was up 4 percent to US$987 million. Although exports dropped to the Netherlands, Ireland and Germany, exports grew to United Kingdom, France and Italy.

Minnesota sales to Central and South America dropped by 9 percent to US$232 million. Weaker demand in Chile (down US$26 million) and Brazil (down US$6 million) during this period offset strong export growth to Colombia (up US$9 million) and Argentina (up US$11 million).

mto fig 2     mto table 2

Vehicles, Beverages and Machinery are Among Growing Commodity Groups

Exports of vehicle products increased 17 percent (or US$69 million, the largest gain in value among all industries) to US$470 million, between the third quarters of 2010 and 2011. Strong growth segments included snowmobiles (up 41 percent to US$131 million, due to Canada, Finland and Sweden, which together accounted for 92 percent of sales) and parts for specialized vehicles and trucks (particularly to Mexico). These helped offset slumping demand for trucks and buses in Canada.

Exports of beverages and spirits had the second-largest gain in value, up US$50 million (or 77 percent) to US$116 million, particularly due to increased demand in Canada.

Machinery exports – the top product group – grew moderately by 4 percent to US$989 million. Pumping and harvest/cleaning machinery and parts for lifting equipment and engines offset the US$90 million (or 63 percent) drop in office machine parts. Exports grew the most in China, Mexico, Canada and Germany.

Minnesota sales of aircraft products and parts (up 31 percent to US$117 million) increased the most to Mexico (up from US$255,000 to US$10 million, third-largest market), the United Kingdom (up 133 percent to US$10 million, fourth-largest), Germany (up 709 percent to US$5.7 million, eighth-largest) and South Korea (up from US$78,000 to US$4.7 million, 10th-largest).

Exports of miscellaneous grain (three-quarters were soybeans) were up 46 percent to US$93 million. Key growing soybean markets for Minnesota included Mexico (up 70 percent to almost US$39 million), China (up from no sales in the third quarter of 2010 to US$6.7 million) and Japan (up 45 percent to US$13.6 million).

The state's exports of meat grew 67 percent to US$81 million, driven by fresh or frozen pork (up 90 percent to US$25 million), frozen beef (up 131 percent to US$11 million) and fresh beef (up 237 percent to US$8 million). South Korea fueled the growth in sales of fresh or frozen pork (up 149 percent to US$10 million) and frozen beef (up 229 percent to US$5 million). Canada and Italy contributed the most to increased exports of fresh beef.

A proxy for medical exports (composed of HS 9018 to HS 9033) dipped by 5 percent. While medical exports declined to the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland, they grew strongly to South Korea (up 38 percent to US$26 million) and Canada (up 14 percent to US$55 million). Medical measuring instruments were the strongest- growing segment, up 39 percent to US$84.5 million.

Exports of ores, slag and ash (mainly iron ores) decreased the most among all industries, falling US$113 million (or 46 percent) to US$134 million. Canada (representing 96 percent of this market) accounted for this decline.

mto fig 3      mto table 1

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). Starting with the first quarter 2011, the quarterly and annual statistics reports will primarily cover 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, rather than data 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. Thus, current and future reports may not be comparable to past reports; all reports are available on the DEED website on the Export Statistics page (

Here are the headings (*and notes) that go with the figures and tables

Figure 1. Minnesota Exports*, Third Quarters

*Includes manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries, but excludes services.

Figure 2. Minnesota Exports, by Region Third Quarter, 2011: US$5.1 billion

Table 1. Growth in Exports, by Country, Between Third Quarters of 2010 and 2011

Figure 3. Minnesota Exports by 2-Digit HS Group*

*Includes manufacturing and non-manufactured industries, such as agriculture and mining, but not services.

Table 2. Growth in Exports, by 2-Digit HS Group*, Between Third Quarters of 2010 and 2011

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