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Published February 21, 2012, 02:46 PM

Exports rise

FARGO, N.D. — Oil, shovel-loaders, agricultural tractors and wheat led the way to a 33 percent jump in the value of North Dakota goods being sold to foreign countries in 2011, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

By: Mikkel Pates, Agweek

FARGO, N.D. — Oil, shovel-loaders, agricultural tractors and wheat led the way to a 33 percent jump in the value of North Dakota goods being sold to foreign countries in 2011, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

State exports increased by $840 million, or a 33 percent jump to a total of $3.38 billion, says Heather Ranck, director of the department’s U.S. Commercial Service office in Fargo, N.D. It was the sixth-highest increase for the year among the states, the agency says.

The top four exports in 2011:

• Crude oil, $689 million, a 200 percent increase from 2010

• Front-end shovel loaders, $307 million, up 25 percent from 2010.

• Agricultural tractors, $194 million, up 15 percent from 2010.

• Wheat, $177 million, up 20 percent from 2010.

Canada continued as the No. 1 export destination, at $2.2 billion. That’s a 37.5 percent increase and accounts for 65 percent of all of the state’s exports. Canada imported $698 million in crude oil (although much of this returns to the U.S.); $170 million in tractors; $125 million in front-end shovel loaders.

The other top export destinations: Mexico, $178 million; Belgium, $89 million, Australia, $83 million; and Germany, $68 million.

Ranck says the state produced 1,416 “unique products” in 2011, a slight increase from 2010.

Ag machinery and tractors rebounded from a slight dip in 2010. Tractors with seeders and planters were among the top ten exports for the state. Machinery accounted for four out of the top 10 exports.

Food exports increased and were led by wheat. Canola oil exports declined to $73 million, only a third of the $204 million exported in 2010.

North Dakota ranks 44th among the states in exports, besting Hawaii, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, New Mexico and Rhode Island.

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