Michigan ag exports up nearly 20%
The Michigan Department of Agriculture reports exports were up nearly 20 percent for 2020 to more than $2 billion despite the pandemic.
Jamie Zmitko-Sommers tells Brownfield the $130 million increase was largely attributed to processed food items which made up 60 percent of total shipments.
“Those are products that are being processed in Michigan that we’re adding value to products grown and produced in the state and that creates a lot of economic impact,” she says.
Soybean, sugar beet, and wheat byproducts; cereals, baked goods, and pasta; soybeans and soybean meal; and dairy products rounded out the top five categories exported.
Canada and Mexico were the top destinations along with South Korea and China.
“We did see growth again in our exports to China with about 50 percent growth to about $53 million,” Zmitko-Somers says. “They previously had been one of our top export markets and then kind of fell down the past few years with some of the trade disputes.”
Zmitko-Somers credits the increases to trade missions done by the department in the past which have developed growing relationships with buyers.