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Minnesota exports increase slightly to set another quarterly record

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Minnesota exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products reached a record $5.13 billion in the final three months of 2012, according to figures released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Exports edged up 0.6 percent from the same period a year ago to notch the ninth straight quarterly record.

“Minnesota exports have been on a record-setting pace for more than two years, helping to drive growth in the state economy,” DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said in statement. “Minnesota’s small and mid-sized companies are seizing the opportunity to sell their high-quality products and services in the global marketplace and thus increasing jobs here in Minnesota.”

Read the full news release below:

ST. PAUL – Minnesota exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products reached $5.13 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, posting their ninth consecutive quarterly record, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The agency said exports were up 0.6 percent from the record fourth quarter of a year ago, led by $4.6 billion in sales for manufactured products.

Gains were the strongest in North America (up 6 percent), the European Union (up 6 percent) and Latin America (up 19 percent), while exports to Asia were down 11 percent. North America is Minnesota’s largest export market, accounting for 37 percent of total sales, followed by Asia (30 percent) and the European Union (20 percent).

“Minnesota exports have been on a record-setting pace for more than two years, helping to drive growth in the state economy,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “Minnesota’s small and mid-sized companies are seizing the opportunity to sell their high-quality products and services in the global marketplace and thus increasing jobs here in Minnesota.”

Exports to the state’s largest national market, Canada, grew 5.1 percent from a year ago to $1.6 billion. Other major markets for Minnesota exporters were China ($550 million, down 14.7 percent), Mexico ($331 million, up 8.4 percent), Japan ($269 million, down 11.3 percent), Germany ($174 million, up 7.8 percent), South Korea ($170 million, down 7.8 percent), Belgium ($168 million, up 29.1 percent), Taiwan ($130 million, up 15 percent), the Philippines ($128 million, down 10.6 percent) and the United Kingdom ($115 million, down 10 percent).

Strong gains in Latin America were led by Brazil ($95 million, up 33 percent), Panama ($13 million, up 65 percent), Colombia ($24 million, up 16 percent) and Argentina ($21 million, up 19 percent).

Machinery led all export categories, reaching $928 million, down 6.2 percent from the same period a year ago. Other top 10 categories were optic, medical ($736 million, up 4.3 percent), electrical machinery ($677 million, down 4 percent), vehicles ($514 million, up 14 percent), plastics ($223 million, down 14.1 percent), mineral fuel, oil ($160 million, up 33.4 percent), food waste ($149 million, up 17.8 percent), aircraft, spacecraft ($137 million, up 11.8 percent), ores, slag, ash ($122 million, up 11 percent) and iron/steel products ($101 million, up 9.3 percent).

Vehicles exports posted strong gains (up 14 percent), led by increased sales of special purpose vehicles and snowmobiles to Canada and tractors to Canada and Belgium. Exports of mineral fuel/oil products climbed 33.4 percent because of strong growth in Canada, which accounts for virtually the entire market. A major jump in the food waste category (up 17.8 percent) was attributed to soybean residue sales, which grew by $17 million, mostly to Canada and Ireland.

Sales of cereals plunged 59 percent to $29 million during the quarter, largely because corn exports to Japan fell from $31 million a year ago to less than $12,000.

The full export report is available at www.tinyurl.com/MinnesotaExports.

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