District manufactured exports reflected the slower economic activity
abroad in 2001 but still recorded better numbers than the country as a
whole. After climbing 12 percent in 2000, district exports increased only
1 percent in 2001; nationally, manufactured exports dropped 7 percent
Total manufactured exports were up 28 percent in North Dakota,
2 percent in Minnesota and level in Wisconsin, while dropping 11
percent in South Dakota and 21 percent in Montana. Exports from
the district's computer and electronic products industry posted
mild gains in many district states, while machinery noted mild decreases.
Manufactured exports to Canada and Europe were mixed, while exports
to Japan showed surprising increases.
Some states and sectors post mild gains, others drop
Exports from the district's computer and electronic products sector,
the largest export industry, were softer in 2001 (3 percent increase)
than the previous year (15 percent increase), but North Dakota saw
a 31 percent increase, while Montana decreased 20 percent. A similar
disparity occurred in machinery exports: North Dakota posted a 66
percent increase, but South Dakota dropped 64 percent. Meanwhile,
exports of food and kindred products increased 23 percent in South
Dakota, 36 percent in Montana and about 10 percent in Wisconsin
and North Dakota, but were down slightly in Minnesota.
North American exports mixed
Canada, the largest export destination for all district states
except Minnesota, recorded mixed demand, with increases of 14 percent
and 2 percent in North Dakota and Minnesota, respectively, while
exports from Montana, South Dakota and Wisconsin dropped between
3 percent and 9 percent.
Strong increases in district exports to Mexico were posted in
2000 but softened in 2001. Montana saw a 70 percent drop due to
slowing exports from the primary metal manufacturing sector. In
contrast, exports from South Dakota to Mexico increased 28 percent.
Exports to Europe up-and down
Exports to Europe jumped almost 60 percent in North Dakota, due
in large part to increases in machinery exports. Meanwhile, exports
destined for Europe decreased 50 percent in South Dakota and 27
percent in Montana.
Thus far a relatively small export destination, the former Soviet
republics posted increases during 2001 in all states except Wisconsin.
For example, South Dakota exports to the former Soviet republics
increased from $10,573 in 2000 to $3.6 million in 2001, primarily
in food and kindred products.
Exports to Japan increase, but weaken to Asian NIEs
Despite a slow Japanese economy and a weak yen, which dropped about
14 percent in value relative to the U.S. dollar in 2001, exports
from all district states increased, except for a slight decrease
in Wisconsin. Manufactured exports to Japan from South Dakota and
Montana climbed 100 percent and 32 percent, respectively. While
district exports posted gains, total US manufactured exports to
Japan dropped 12 percent in 2001.
Manufactured exports bound for Southeast Asia increased in almost
all states, including a 146 percent climb in South Dakota, primarily
in computer and electronic products. Exports to Southeast Asia from
other district states increased between 20 percent and 33 percent,
except Minnesota, which decreased 17 percent.
However, exports to the Asian newly industrialized economies (NIEs)
of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan decreased, especially
in North Dakota (27 percent) and Montana (13 percent).
Exports to China were mixed, ranging from an 80 percent increase
in Wisconsin to a 59 percent drop in North Dakota. Despite the growing
size of the Chinese market, exports to China represent less than
3 percent of total manufactured exports from the district.