DEED: Minnesota exports up 17% in 2021, exceeding pre-pandemic levels

After a down year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota’s exports rebounded in a big way last year.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) says the state’s exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products increased 17% from 2020, totaling $24 billion. That’s above pre-pandemic levels in 2019, DEED says, and ranked 22nd out of the 50 states.

Overall, Minnesota imported $32 billion in goods, totaling a $9 billion trade deficit last year.

“The continued rebound in the state’s exports is good news for Minnesota businesses – and the 112,000 Minnesotans whose jobs are supported by state exports,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement. “We’re heartened by this continued growth, but we know we must continue to do more to bring Minnesota goods to the global stage. We want the world to know: we build what matters in Minnesota.”

According to DEED, Canadian demand significantly increased and was the state’s top export market while Mexico was third. Exports also recovered to 2019 levels in Asia while they increased in Europe but still fell short of 2019 levels. The state saw the biggest jump in exports to the Philippines, China and Ireland.

DEED also noted that machinery, electrical equipment, and mineral fuel and oil saw the largest export gains.

“The Minnesota Trade Office offers innovative programs and services to assist small and medium-sized Minnesota companies navigate international markets and successfully grow their export sales,” Gabrielle Gerbaud, the executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office, said in a statement. “We are dedicated to growing state exports to global markets as the world continues to emerge from pandemic disruptions.”