Wisconsin business exports increase more than 18 percent January-June, compared to last year


MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — The Wisconsin Trade Data Report shows that Wisconsin businesses exported more than $11.5 billion in products around the world from January to June.
The total is an 18.41 percent growth over the same period in 2020, fueled primarily by industrial machinery sales, according to an announcement Friday from Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
The report continued a series of good news for Wisconsin’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The state’s July unemployment rate of 3.9 percent has remained steady since April and is among the lowest in the nation, nearly returning to pre-pandemic levels.
The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau also recently released projections showing “unprecedented” revenue projections more than $4.4 billion higher than January estimates.
And the Badger State remains a leader in getting shots in arms, ranking second in the Midwest for percentage of the population fully vaccinated.
“Today’s news continues to underscore what Wisconsinites have already known for years — Wisconsin is resilient,” Evers said.
The WEDC compiles the Wisconsin Trade Data Report with data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the World Institute for Strategic Economic Research.
Overall, the report shows that total U.S. exports grew 23.14 percent through the end of June when compared to the same timeframe last year. Wisconsin ranks 21st among the 50 states in exports.
“From large manufacturers to family farms, all of us work in a global economy,” said Missy Hughes, WEDC secretary and CEO. “WEDC staff work hard to make sure Wisconsin businesses can make global connections and succeed everywhere.”
Industrial machinery, a category that includes everything from tractors and heaters to machine tools and computers, is Wisconsin’s largest export category, making up 24 percent of all the state’s exports and worth nearly $2.8 billion.
Exports of harvesting machinery led the way for the category, nearly doubling with a 97.68 percent increase over 2020. Shipments of harvesting equipment to Canada nearly quadrupled during the first six months of 2021, with a 389.58 percent increase over the same period in 2020.
The state’s top five export categories are industrial machinery, medical and scientific instruments, electrical machinery, transportation equipment and plastics.
Agricultural and food products are broken down into different subcategories, but if they were compiled together, the state’s agricultural and food product exports would have grown 21.2 percent this year compared to the same period in 2020.
The exports would be worth about $1.9 billion, putting agricultural and food products second only to industrial machinery for Wisconsin exports.
Vehicles and parts exports increased by the greatest dollar volume at more than $308 million or a nearly 54 percent increase.
Canada is the top destination for Wisconsin’s exports, with nearly $3.6 billion in sales over the first six months of 2021. That’s an increase of 23 percent over the same period last year.
Just over one-quarter of the state’s imports came from Canada and Mexico, while China supplies just more than 20 percent of the goods Wisconsin imports. The state’s imports also grew by nearly 38 percent and totaled $16.7 billion from January to June 2021.