Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
April 2006
Wisconsin Exports Soar Above National Average

Wisconsin exporters set a record in 2005 by shipping nearly $15 billion worth of products to other countries. State exports grew by 17.45 percent over the previous year and totaled $14,923,486,505. Wisconsin's growth rate exceeded that of the country as a whole by nearly 7 percent. Total U.S. exports grew by 10.57 percent and amounted to $904,379,818,171. Only ten states posted larger total dollar value increases in their exports than Wisconsin.

Of Wisconsin's top 20 export destinations, 16 posted double digit growth rates. Likewise, of the top 20 product categories, 16 also experienced double digit growth. Almost half of Wisconsin's exports stay within North America, however, state firms are able to compete successfully in many parts of the world. Wisconsin is a major producer of capital goods that are in demand around the world as manufacturers in other countries seek to upgrade their facilities and increase their productivity.

Canada continues to be the #1 international destination for Wisconsin products. Our northern neighbors purchased $5,237,727,730 worth of state products, up 7.85 percent over the previous year. Among the 50 states, Wisconsin ranks 10th in exports to Canada. Industrial machinery accounts for nearly 40 percent of Wisconsin exports to Canada. More machinery is shipped to Canada than total exports to Mexico, the state's #2 export destination.

Exports to Mexico grew by 25.24 percent and totaled $1,333,042,573. Electrical machinery grew by 68.17 percent and accounts for 27.5 percent of those shipments. The category continues to be dominated by miscellaneous battery components. Industrial machinery grew by 16.7 percent and accounts for 18.57 percent of the total. Exports of paper were down 9.85 percent while vehicles were up 22.51 percent.

Japan posted an 11.42 percent increase in purchases from Wisconsin, reversing a 23.5 percent decline in 2004. Scientific and medical instruments account for 38.97 percent of Wisconsin exports there and grew by 5.03 percent. Exports of industrial machinery grew by 18.23 percent and electrical machinery by 43.81 percent.

Wisconsin's exports to China grew by 15.51 percent. Industrial machinery exports there grew by 11.49 percent. Over a third of this category is comprised of parts for construction equipment, office machines, and engines. The #2 category of Wisconsin exports to China is medical and scientific instruments. Wisconsin is the #2 state for exports of both X-ray equipment and non-electrical surgical and medical devices.

If the 25 countries of the European Union were counted as a single export destination, they would rank #2 for Wisconsin shipments. Exports to the EU grew by 24.08 percent and totaled $3,180,755,977. Ranked individually, the United Kingdom is #5, up 24.27 percent. Germany is #6, up 19.32 percent. France is #8, up 13.73 percent. Belgium is #9, up 13.55 percent. Wisconsin exports to the EU are dominated by industrial and electrical machinery and scientific and medical instruments. Vehicle exports, the #4 category grew by 67.67 percent and cereals, the #5 category, grew by 75.34 percent.

Excel spreadsheets showing Wisconsin exports from 1996-2005 by product categories and by destinations are available on-line at the Department of Commerce website.

-- Stanley Pfrang

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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