Minnesota exports came on strong late last year, growing at their fastest quarterly rate in more than two years.
Kathleen Motzenbecker, executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office, said this morning that state exports of manufactured, agricultural and mining products grew to $5.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 6 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. U.S. export growth during that period was 4 percent.
Minnesota was one of 19 states and the only state in the Upper Midwest that saw exports grow more than 5 percent from the previous year. With three new foreign trade offices opening in Brazil, Germany and South Korea, state trade officials say Minnesota is positioned to continue seeing healthy export increases in the near future.
Major increases in exports to China and Mexico – the state’s second- and third-largest markets, respectively – drove much of the growth in the 2013 fourth quarter. Sales to China grew 35 percent to $743 million, while sales to Mexico climbed 32 percent to $439 million.
Canada remains the state’s largest export market, with sales at $1.48 billion in the quarter, down 7 percent from the same period a year ago.
The state’s leading export in the fourth quarter was machinery, which grew 1 percent to $937 million. Other major exports were optics, medical products ($889 million, up 21 percent) and electrical machinery ($659 million, down 3 percent).
The full fourth-quarter report can be seen here.