The Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership’s annual “State of Trade Report” released Tuesday says the value of the province’s exports were up to $31.2 billion last year.

The new total marks an 11.2 per cent increase over 2017 exports.

“Saskatchewan exporters are among the best in the world, and when provided with a level playing field, they can compete and succeed on the international stage,” said Minister of Trade and Export Development Jeremy Harrison in a release. “It is critical that governments at all levels support export infrastructure and maintain healthy relationships with governments in our key markets.”

According to STEP, a partnership between government and industry that promotes growth for Saskatchewan exports, there was a 14.7 per cent increase in exports to the United States. The $17.3 billion dollars in American exports last year were enough to keep them as the top market for Saskatchewan products despite uncertainty created by the renegotiation of the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement.

The report says 44 per cent of the province’s exports shipped to other countries besides the United States in 2018, including $4.6 billion in exports to China, marking a 31.1 per cent increase from the previous year.

Japan, Brazil and Mexico rounded out the top five international markets for Saskatchewan.

Not all trends listed in the report were upward, as exports to India dropped 46.1 percent last year to $618 million.

STEP says the steep drop in Indian exports was due almost exclusively to tariffs the country placed on imported peas and lentils, with the total value of exports for those products falling by 87 and 83 per cent.

For 2019, STEP is forecasting a four per cent increase in exports in line with Export Development Canada’s outlook for Saskatchewan this year.