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Exports set second straight annual record

ST. PAUL - Minnesota exports of agricultural, mining and manufactured products set a record for the second consecutive year in 2012, climbing 1.2 percent to $20.6 billion, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

According to DEED's 2012 Export Report, state exports increased last year by $246 million to break the previous record of $20.3 billion set in 2011. Among all states, Minnesota ranked 20th in export sales in 2012, with manufacturing exports supporting nearly 115,000 Minnesota jobs.

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said this progress is crucial to remaining competitive in today's global economy. "Minnesota exports have been on a record-setting pace for more than two years and have contributed to new jobs and investment in our state," said Commissioner Sieben. "This growth signifies an opportunity for Minnesota and Minnesota businesses, and it is critical that we continue to build on this success."

The report released today showed that North America accounted for 36 percent of Minnesota exports in 2012, followed by Asia (32 percent) and the European Union (20 percent). Canada was Minnesota's largest national market, with sales climbing 2.7 percent to $6 billion, accounting for 29 percent of exports. Other top export markets were:

1. China ($2.5 billion, up 7.1 percent)

2. Mexico ($1.3 billion, up 6.7 percent)

3. South Korea ($707 million, up 0.8 percent)

4. Belgium ($640 million, up 2.7 percent)

5. Taiwan ($489 million, up 0.1 percent)