Wisconsin exports down 2.3% in October


Wisconsin companies exported nearly $1.86 billion in goods in October, a 2.3% decrease from the same time in 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

The shipments left the state’s exports down 3.3% for the third quarter and 4.5% for the full year. Nationally, exports were down 3.2% in October and 1.2% for the year.

Among Wisconsin’s largest export markets, the decline was primarily the result of a sharp 28% drop in shipments to Mexico. Exports to Mexico were particularly high in October 2018.

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Exports to Europe, which has dealt with a slowing economy in recent months, declined 6.6% in October or $25.1 million.

Offsetting those declines was a sharp 58% or $64.3 million increase in exports to China. It was the best single month of exports to China since June 2018 and was the fifth highest total for any month since at least 2002.

The increase was primarily driven by a jump in sales of commercial aircraft parts from $261,000 last year to $65.9 million this year. Wisconsin exported $97.9 million in commercial aircraft parts to China in all of 2018.

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Excluding the jump in aircraft parts, exports to China were down 1.2% in October, an improvement from the 23% monthly decline the state has averaged for the rest of the year.

Exports to Canada, the single largest destination for Wisconsin products, were up 0.7% or $4 million in October.

For the entire third quarter, including aircraft parts, exports to China were down 1.6%, Europe was down 4.5%, Canada decreased 1.7% and Mexico was down 8.3%.

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