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Minnesota Exports Continue to Grow: Up 19% in the Third Quarter

Markets show promising rebounding trends for exports as global demand recovers

St. Paul - Minnesota exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products continued to grow, increasing by 19% to $5.7 billion in the third quarter of 2021, according to a report released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). State exports increased $916 million over the third quarter of 2020, continuing their strong recovery from pandemic disruptions that began in 2020. With 47 states experiencing positive export growth between the third quarters of 2020 and 2021, U.S. exports of goods increased 23% during this period.

Compared to the pre-pandemic third quarter of 2019, the state’s exports were up 2%.

“The continued rebound in the state's exports, to levels above those before the pandemic, is exciting for all our exporters,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “Not only are Minnesota businesses and their workers resilient and hard-working, but they are also showcasing on a global stage the reputation of our innovative and high-quality goods.”

“Minnesota exports continue to show an exceptional rebound from global disruptions during the pandemic,” said Gabrielle Gerbaud, Executive Director of the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO). “The MTO strives to offer innovative programs and services to assist our small and medium-sized companies navigate and overcome the ongoing challenges in order to successfully grow their sales in international markets.”

Global markets are continuing to recover from the steep declines of 2020. Exports jumped 31% to North America, 12% to Asia and 10% to the European Union – which were the state’s three largest export regions and accounted for 87% of exported goods. Exports to the state’s top markets made strong gains, including jumping 37% to Canada, 22% to Mexico and 127% to the Philippines.

Many products showed robust growth trends between the third quarters of 2020 and 2021, including seven of the state’s top 10 products: machinery, electrical equipment, mineral fuels/oils, food by-products, ores/slag/ash, meat, and aircraft/spacecraft. Machinery exports jumped to the Philippines and China, while electrical equipment sales surged to China, Canada, Germany and Thailand. Canada drove increased demand for mineral fuels/oils and ores/slag/ash, while North American markets drove increased exports of food by-products and oil seeds/misc. grains.

The Minnesota Trade Office (MTO) 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% 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 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 third quarter 2021 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 website, or follow us on Twitter.


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