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Exports hit record level of $21.4B as more countries buy Minnesotan

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$21.4 billion.

That's the amount companies from other countries spent on products made in Minnesota in 2014.

It's a record amount, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and it was driven by increases in the sale of medical supplies, electrical machinery, meat and plastic products.

It represents a 2.9 percent growth in export revenue, ahead of the 2.8 percent average across the United States, with Canada, Mexico and China being Minnesota's biggest customers.

"Minnesota has a diverse and robust export economy, with more than 930 different products going to 192 countries in the fourth quarter," DEED commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said in a news release. "More than 8,600 Minnesota companies are exporting, most of them small- and medium-sized businesses."

Other popular exports included produce such as soybeans, wheat and rice, while the booming demand for pork in Mexico, Korea and Japan lead the state's meat exports rose by $392 million last year.

But machinery sales – Minnesota's second-largest exported product – fell by 10 percent to $3.6 billion, because of a drop in demand for computer and office machine parts and farm machinery.

Canada is unsurprisingly Minnesota's biggest export market, accounting for just under $5.6 billion of total revenue, but Mexico moved ahead of China in second place after exports rose by 50 percent to more than $2.2 billion.

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