Greenback Blamed for Drop in Minnesota Exports
St Paul, MN (KROC AM News) - Minnesota’s exports slipped during the second quarter this year due to the continued strength of the U.S. dollar.
State officials say Minnesota companies exported $4.8 billion worth of manufactured, agricultural and mining products, down 8 percent from the same period a year ago. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says the strength of the dollar continuing to impact the competitiveness of U.S. products and foreign demand.
“The strong dollar hampered export sales in the second quarter, making Minnesota-made products more expensive abroad,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “Still, there were pockets of growth, particularly in Africa, where Minnesota sales climbed 32 percent to $43 million.”
Exports sales fell to all three of the state’s major regional global markets, down 4 percent in both North America and the European Union and off 12 percent in Asia.
Canada remains the state’s largest national market, with export sales totaling nearly $1.05 billion in the quarter, down 8 percent from a year ago.
Other top 10 national markets were Mexico ($603 million, up 5 percent), China ($506 million, down 16 percent), Japan ($240 million, down 22 percent), Germany ($215 million, down 3 percent), South Korea ($204 million, no change), Belgium ($196 million, down 11 percent), the United Kingdom ($143 million, up 11 percent), Singapore ($130 million, down 2 percent) and Ireland ($105 million, up 9 percent).
Optic and medical products was the top export, with sales of $864 million, down 11 percent.
The state’s other top 10 products were the following: machinery ($755 million, down 18 percent), electrical machinery ($639 million, down 1 percent), vehicles ($372 million, down 10 percent), plastic ($278 million, down 6 percent), food byproducts ($141 million, down 25 percent), aircraft, spacecraft ($141 million, down 6 percent), meat products ($84 million, down 10 percent), pharmaceuticals ($83 million, down 1 percent) and iron, steel products ($80 million, down 15 percent).