Wisconsin exports down slightly in Q1 as imports from China fall 37%

wisconsin exports

Wisconsin exports were off to the best start since 2017 in January and February but that momentum did not continue as the coronavirus hit the U.S. in March and the state’s exports ended the first quarter down 0.3%, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data.

On the import side, Wisconsin saw a more dramatic shift with a decrease of 8.6% in the first quarter. Imports from China – which accounted for more than 17% of the total – decreased 37%, a $625 million drop.

Wisconsin’s decline in exports amounted to a $14.2 million decline. A 5.7% increase in February was offset by 3.2% and 2.6% declines in January and March respectively.

Exports to China were up b 30% in the quarter to $373.9 million, an $86.7 million increase from last year that included a 48% jump in March.

The gain in exports to China, however, was offset by declines with other major trading partners.

Exports to Canada – the largest destination for Wisconsin products – declined 5.1% to $1.58 billion for the quarter, an $85.2 million decline

Exports to Mexico saw a larger drop in percentage terms – down 18.5% – and in dollars – down $160.8 million from last year.

Exports to Europe were also down 1.7%, a $19.7 million decline from last year.

The biggest drop in dollar-figures among European countries was a $65.5 million decline in exports to the United Kingdom, a 27.3% drop from last year. Exports to Germany were also down 11.3% or $22.9 million in the quarter and sales to France declined $8 million or 7.8%.

On the positive side, exports to the Czech Republic increased $23.4 million in the quarter or 44.3%. Luxembourg saw a $16.3 million increase and Spain and Switzerland also both saw increases of more than $10 million.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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