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Minnesota Exports Drop In 2023, Driven by Decrease in Mineral Oil and Fuel

St. Paul – Minnesota exports of goods to nearly 200 countries totaled $25 billion in 2023, down 8% from 2022 – a drop that was largely driven by decreased demand for mineral oil and fuel, according to a report released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Removing those products’ impact, Minnesota’s annual exports would have been flat over the year. U.S. exports were also down, by 2%, between 2022 and 2023.

“While we always hope to see an overall increase in exports, the growth we saw in certain industries is impressive,” said DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek. “Nearly 118,000 Minnesotans work in goods and services industries that contribute to exports, we applaud their massive contribution to our economy. DEED will continue to showcase Minnesota’s companies on a global scale."

"Despite continuing global economic concerns and geopolitical disruptions, it is encouraging to see positive inroads made last year in key markets such as Mexico, Ireland and Australia," said Gabrielle Gerbaud, Executive Director of the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO). “We are eager to help companies overcome their export challenges. Our foreign office network provides extensive support to the state's exporters with timely market insights and assistance with sales expansion around the world.”

Minnesota exports of vehicles (up $634 million), optic and medical goods (up $291 million) and aircraft and spacecraft (up $92 million) saw the largest gains. Vehicles exports grew 45% to over $2 billion, largely fueled by Canada (up 45%) and Mexico (up 30%). Exports of optical and medical goods increased 7%, led by Ireland, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica and South Korea, while those of aircraft and spacecraft were lifted by Germany, Japan and Canada. The 65% decline in mineral fuel and oil exports that was the underlying source of the state’s annual decrease was driven by a decline in demand from buyers in Canada, a key Minnesota trade partner.

Although Minnesota exports fell to North America (down 12%), Asia (down 13%) and the European Union (down 7%), multiple regions showed promising growth in 2023. Exports increased to Africa (up 41%), the Caribbean, Central America and South America (up 14%) and the Australia-Pacific region (up 26%).

Governor Tim Walz led the state’s first-ever trade mission to Australia in November. The MTO organized the mission, which included a 35-member delegation from four key Minnesota sectors – medical technology, clean technology, higher education and agriculture.

Additional export details can be found in the 2023 annual report, which is posted on DEED's website in the Export and Trade Statistics section.

The 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 Trade and Export Promotion (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 helps foreign companies explore the advantages of expanding or relocating in Minnesota, and 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.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. Find out how DEED delivers for Minnesota by visiting the DEED website,  JoinUsMn.com, CareerForceMN.com or follow us on X.

 

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