St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Minnesota continued to experience a slowdown in exports during the first quarter of this year, but state officials say the state performed better than the country as a whole.

Minnesota’s exports of manufactured, agricultural, and mining products during the first three months of 2016 totaled $4.6 billion according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. That’s down 5.2-percent when compared to the first quarter of last year. Nationwide, exports were off 6.8-percent.

Shipments to all three of the state’s major regional markets were lower. Minnesota exports to other countries in North America fell five-percent, they were down six-percent in Asia and two-percent in the European Union. Exports to Minnesota’s largest customer, Canada, were off nine-percent at $989 million.
Other top 10 national markets were Mexico ($555 million, up 4 percent), China ($494 million, down 6 percent), Japan ($254 million, down 8 percent), Belgium ($217 million, down 8 percent), Germany ($181 million, down 6 percent), South Korea ($164 million, down 23 percent), Singapore ($143 million, up 3 percent), the United Kingdom ($133 million, up 6 percent) and the Philippines ($110 million, down 13 percent).

The top export product was optic and medical products, with sales of $864 million, down 9 percent.

Other top 10 products were machinery ($807 million, down 3 percent), electrical machinery ($619 million, down 1 percent), vehicles ($337 million, down 21 percent), plastic ($278 million, down 1 percent), food byproducts ($138 million, down 1 percent), aircraft, spacecraft ($107 million, down 16 percent), pharmaceuticals ($88 million, up 17 percent), iron, steel products ($76 million, down 10 percent) and stone, plaster, cement ($74 million, up 14 percent).

Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.