Minnesota’s 2Q exports jump 15 percent to record $5.9 billion

September 5, 2018 GMT

Despite trade tariff worries, Minnesota exports jumped 15 percent to a record $5.9 billion during the second quarter, state officials announced Wednesday.

“Minnesota businesses made an additional $780 million in export sales between the second quarters of 2017 and 2018,” said Shawntera Hardy, commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). “Our state continues to have a robust international customer base and investment opportunities.”

The amount of Minnesota agricultural, mining and manufactured products shipped abroad during the quarter included optics/medical products, machinery, plastics, vehicle parts and ore. The 15 percent jump compared to an 11 percent jump in overall U.S. exports.

All eyes have been on exports of late as new U.S. tariffs installed by President Donald Trump’s administration have sparked global trade tensions with trading partners such as Canada, China and the European Union retaliating with tariffs of their own against U.S. pork, iron, soybeans, steel, aluminum and other goods.

Some producers have had to stock up on raw materials in advance of the tariff implementation dates, said economists and several Minnesota manufacturers who noted that the trade tensions are forcing ingredient prices higher.

However, DEED said in a statement it is unknown whether the countermeasures had an effect.

From April through June, Canada remained Minnesota’s largest trading partner as sales jumped 20 percent from a year ago to $1.3 billion.

Minnesota exports to China grew 27 percent to $717 million, while exports to Mexico nudged up 5 percent to $612 million.

Sales to Japan rose 24 percent to $390 million, followed by South Korea ($262, up 21 percent), Germany (246 million, up 30 percent), Singapore $169 million up 19 percent), the United Kingdom ($169 million up 4 percent), Netherlands ($154 million, down percent) and Belgium ($152 million, down 8 percent).

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725