Minnesota exports hit record mark in 2022

The world continues to seek Minnesota-grown products.

Minnesota exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products reached a record high of $27 billion in 2022, according to a report released in March by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The state’s exports extended their growth streak from 2021, jumping 16% over the year.

“Minnesota’s record export sales and continued export growth are great news. These trends show that our manufacturers are well-positioned in international markets and contribute strongly to resilience in our state economy,” interim DEED Commissioner Kevin McKinnon said. “We will continue to engage in multi-faceted efforts to bring Minnesota companies and goods to the global stage.”

According to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the 2022 state level agricultural export data won’t be available until later this year. However, in 2021, Minnesota’s soybean exports valued $2.4 billion, accounting for about 26% of Minnesota’s total ag exports. Minnesota is the nation’s fourth largest agricultural exporting state; from 2000 to 2021, the state’s farm exports increased by more than 300%. Throughout the state, ag exports support more than 52,000 jobs both on-farm and off-farm, and generate over $14 billion in total economic impact. Following soybeans, Minnesota’s top export commodities are corn, feeds, red meat, dairy and wheat, respectively.

North American markets drove Minnesota’s export growth in 2022. Minnesota exports to North America grew to nearly $12 billion, jumping by 30% over 2021. Exports also strongly performed to the European Union (up 26%), the Caribbean, Central America and South America (up 22%) and the Middle East (up 30%), but fell to Asia (down 2%).

Individual national markets gaining over $150 million in exports from the state in 2022 included Canada (up $2.3 billion), Mexico (up $349 million), the Netherlands (up $239 million), Korea ($794 million, up $211 million) and Spain (up $158 million).

Among products, surging global sales of mineral fuel, oil (up $1.8 billion), electrical equipment (up $681 million) and cereals (up $618 million) contributed the most to Minnesota’s export gains in 2022. Mineral fuel, oil exports doubled to $3.6 billion – propelled by Canada and petroleum products. High-growth markets for electrical equipment included Canada (up 38%), Germany (up 49%) and Singapore (up 50%); while those for cereals included Canada – the primary market for cereals – as well as emerging markets for wheat such as Yemen and Indonesia.

Minnesota conducted $70 billion in total trade in goods with 215 countries in 2022. Total trade grew 25% since 2021. With nearly $43 billion in imports (up 31%), the state ran a trade deficit of about $15 billion in 2022.

U.S. exports overall grew 18% between 2021 and 2022. Minnesota ranked 21st highest in exports among the 50 states for total exports, up from 22nd in 2021. The state’s exports of goods supported about 118,000 Minnesota jobs in 2021.

Additional export details can be found in the 2022 annual report, which is posted on DEED’s website in the Export and Trade Statistics section.

During the 2023 Legislative Session, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association is leading a push toward increasing resources for MDA’s export program, which is managed by Jeffrey Phillips.

“Jeffrey does a fantastic job leading MDA’s trade missions that benefit our industry,” said MSGA Executive Director Joe Smentek. “We believe it’s time for the legislature to support additional resources to increase that program so we can continue growing and developing new markets.”

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