State exports follow national drop after two years of growth. St. Paul – Minnesota exports of agriculture, mining and manufactured products were valued at $6.1 billion in the second quarter of 2023, according to new data released by then Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). After eight straight quarters of growth, state exports fell 9% over the second quarter of 2022.
U.S. exports of goods also fell, by 7%, as exports declined from 29 states between the second quarters of 2022 and 2023. “Following an incredible two years of growth, the decline in Minnesota’s manufactured exports reflects a nationwide drop in the second quarter,” said DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek.
“Nevertheless, several key sectors saw growth this quarter and we will look to rebound with our top trading partners in the months ahead. Through our upcoming trade missions, we will continue to support businesses statewide to ensure our economy grows and thrives.” Exports to Canada, the state’s top trading partner, fell sharply due to a decline in mineral fuel and oil sales.
But exports to Minnesota’s second-largest market, Mexico, were up 26%, and the state saw export growth to Europe (10%), the Caribbean, Central and South America (5%), Australia (27%) and the Middle East (28%). Exports of many key products performed strongly in the second quarter, led by vehicles (up 54%), iron ore (up 29%), pharmaceutical goods (up 27%), aircraft and spacecraft (up 21%) and optic and medical (up 8%). “The Minnesota Trade Office is dedicated to helping Minnesota companies create opportunities in international markets,” said Gabrielle Gerbaud, Executive Director of the Minnesota Trade Office.
“We’re excited to see strong growth in important sectors and regions, and we’ll continue working with Minnesota businesses to get their products to more markets around the world.” The Minnesota Trade Office is leading the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association’s annual meeting in Tokyo. Japan is the state’s fourth-largest export market, buying over $1.1 billion in goods from Minnesota businesses in 2022.
More than 40 Japanese companies operate at nearly 120 locations in Minnesota. Governor Tim Walz and Commissioner Varilek will also lead a trade and investment mission to Australia this November. The delegation will travel to the major business centers of Sydney and Melbourne, where they will showcase Minnesota’s innovative companies and in-bound opportunities for Australian companies to invest in Minnesota.
In 2022, Australia ranked as Minnesota’s 13th largest export market for goods, with sales valued at $438 million. Australian companies have invested more than $3 billion in the U.S. over the past five years, including operations here in Minnesota. The Minnesota Trade Office supports small- and medium-sized Minnesota businesses through technical assistance, export education and training programs, trade promotion activities, services by offices in strategic overseas locations, and export expansion grants.
State STEP grants (50 percent matching up to $7,500) support a range of export development activities, including participation in virtual and in-person trade shows and missions. The MTO also promotes Minnesota as a business location to companies based overseas and serves as Minnesota's Office of Protocol, ensuring that the state’s interactions with foreign delegations and dignitaries are conducted with appropriate diplomatic etiquette and cultural practices. The full second quarter 2023 report is available on DEED’s website in the Export and Trade Statistics section. DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development.
For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website, the JoinUsMn.com website, or follow us on Twitter.