ST. PAUL (WJON News) - Minnesota business exports were down $25 billion in 2023, a drop of about 8% over 2022.

A new report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development shows the decline in exports led to a 65% decrease in demand for mineral oil and fuel.

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DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek says there are reasons to celebrate in this report.

While we always hope to see an overall increase in exports, the growth we saw in certain industries is impressive. 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.

Minnesota exports with the biggest gains over 2022 include:

  • Vehicles: up $634 million, mostly to Canada and Mexico.
  • Optic and Medical Goods: up $291 million, led by Ireland, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica and South Korea.
  • Aircraft and Spacecraft Parts: up $92 million, mainly to Germany, Japan and Canada.

Gabrielle Gerbaud, Executive Director of the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO), says the increases in new foreign markets are exciting.

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. 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 fell to the following countries:

  • North America: -12%
  • Asia: -13%
  • European Union: -7%

Exports grew to the following countries:

  • Africa: +41%
  • The Caribbean, Central and South America: +14%

The state’s first-ever trade mission to Australia last November produced a 26% increase in exports to Australia and the Pacific region.

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