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Michigan food exports eclipse $2.5 billion

Despite continued supply chain struggles, Michigan food, agriculture, and forest exports grew 19% year-over-year in 2021 to eclipse $2.5 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Michigan’s food and agriculture industry is thriving with 19% annual growth and $2.5 billion in exports. It continues to uplift Michigan’s economy and make a local, national and global impact,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.

“Michigan’s agriculture industry is critical to expanding economic opportunities and creating more good-paying jobs for Michiganders. We will stay focused on investing in rural economic development, empowering farmers and agriculture businesses, and ensuring that the words ‘Made in Michigan’ are seen around the world.”

Overall, processed food products ($437 million) represented the highest total value of Michigan’s exported food and agriculture products in 2021. This category accounted for a $72 million increase over 2020 export totals. Other top product categories included soybean, sugar beet, and wheat byproducts ($304 million); dairy products ($234 million), wood products ($230 million); and edible meat products ($215 million).

“I’m proud that Michigan’s food and agriculture production continues to thrive, and our reputation grows worldwide,” Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell said in a statement. “Michigan food and agriculture diverse, high-quality products are well-known known globally. I’m excited as this industry continues to show the world what makes Michigan food and agriculture so special.”

Michigan consistently ranks as one of the most agriculturally diverse states nationwide, with exports ranging from bulk soybeans to dried fruit, pickles, and baked goods.

“These annual export figures are a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication Michigan food and agriculture businesses put into their export efforts on a daily basis,” MDARD Agriculture Development Director Jamie Zmitko-Somers said in a statement. “These businesses have been faced with supply chain disruptions, weather challenges, labor shortages, and more over the last year, yet they came through it all in tremendous fashion. We are excited to continue collaborating with the food and agriculture industry to grow our global footprint for years to come.”

Despite supply chain issues that impacted nearly every industry, Michigan companies saw an increase in export value across multiple international markets. Inflation not seen in 40 years likely plays a part in rising prices.

Michigan’s top international food and agricultures exports in 2021 were Canada ($1.19 billion), Mexico ($292 million), China ($168 million), South Korea ($163 million), and Japan ($146 million).

These countries are often at or near the top as export destinations from Michigan.

This article was originally posted on Michigan food exports eclipse $2.5 billion

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