Minnesota exports jumped 17% last year to above pre-pandemic levels

Minnesota exports jumped 17% to $23.5 billion last year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

Canada and Mexico, which are typically among the top three international markets for Minnesota, were the biggest drivers of that growth, according to a report Monday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

In 2021, state exports rose 36% to Canada and 27% to Mexico.

Growth was more moderate to Asia, which was up 8%, and to Europe, which increased by 11%.

Exports of machinery, electrical equipment and mineral fuel and oil saw the largest gains.

In total, Minnesota exported about $24 billion of agricultural, mining and manufactured products last year, according to the report. That was a 6% increase over 2019 and a return to pre-pandemic levels after state exports sank 10% in 2020.

U.S. exports as a whole rose even faster last year than in Minnesota, surging 23% over 2020 and 7% over 2019.

Minnesota ranked 22nd in exports among all states in 2021.

“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.

Meanwhile, Minnesota imported $32.5 billion in goods last year, resulting in a trade deficit in goods of $9 billion in 2021.