Manufactured exports from district states posted overall gains for 1997. Exports to South America showed marked improvement in 1997, while exports to Asia and Canada decreased somewhat.
Exports increase to southern destinations
Manufactured exports increased to Mexico, Central America and South America. Exports to Mexico from four out of five states increased faster in 1997 than the previous 10-year trend, including an 88 percent increase from North Dakota and a 115 percent increase from South Dakota. Exports to Central America and South America from four states also increased faster in 1997 than the previous 10-year trend, including a 70 percent increase from Montana. Nevertheless, these destinations represent only a small portion of the total number of manufactured exports from district states.
Canada and Europe remain primary destinations
Exports to Canada and Europe remain the highest export destinations for district states. Exports from Montana to Canada and Europe increased 36 percent and 47 percent respectively, primarily due to an overall increase in Montana's primary metal industry exports of 69 percent.
Exports from Minnesota to Canada fell by 3 percent, due to an overall decrease in transportation equipment-the second largest export to Canada-of 36 percent. The Canadian dollar dropped in value from $1.36 Canadian to the U.S. dollar to $1.43 Canadian to the U.S. dollar from December 1996 to December 1997, making products from the United States more expensive in Canada.
Financial troubles in Asia slow exports
After financial trouble hit Asia in 1997, exports to these countries slowed somewhat. All exports from Minnesota and Wisconsin to the Asian nonindustrialized countries, Japan and Southeast Asia grew slower during 1997 than the past 10-year trend. However, the only decreases to these areas in 1997 include an 11 percent decrease from North Dakota to Japan and a 3 percent drop from South Dakota to Japan.
Electrical equipment gains; transportation equipment loses
Electrical equipment exports showed marked improvement in several states, growing by 64 percent in Montana, 58 percent in South Dakota and 35 percent in North Dakota. Meanwhile, transportation equipment decreased by 36 percent in Minnesota, 8 percent in Wisconsin and 2 percent in North Dakota.