Canola ban weighs on agriculture exports
When primary agriculture and processed food products are combined, total agricultural exports from Alberta to other countries came to $11.5 billion last year.
By ATB Economics 26 February 2020 1 min read
The value of primary agriculture exports from Alberta to other countries declined for the second year in a row in 2019. Exports fell from just under $6 billion in 2018 to $5.4 billion in 2019—a drop of 9 per cent.
The Chinese government’s ban on Canadian canola helped push Alberta’s exports of the oilseed crop down last year by 33 per cent ($589.9 million). Wheat exports fell by 13 per cent ($296.7 million).
Increased cattle exports, which were up by 14 per cent ($240 million), and higher sales of peas and beans, which jumped by 18 per cent ($113 million), were not sufficient to offset the lower canola and wheat sales.
On the bright side, Alberta’s exports of food products (e.g., cuts of beef and frozen potatoes) grew in value for the sixth straight year, going from $5.8 billion in 2018 to $6.1 billion in 2019—an increase of 5 per cent.
Meat products, which account for about half of Alberta's total international food product exports, saw foreign sales rise in 2019 by 12 per cent. Processed canola is the next largest category at 26 per cent of food product exports. Its foreign sales fell by 6.1 per cent last year.
When primary agriculture and processed food products are combined, total agricultural exports from Alberta to other countries came to $11.5 billion last year compared to $11.8 billion in 2018—a drop of 2 per cent.
However, at 19 per cent above where they were in 2014, Alberta's agriculture and agri-food exports are well above their pre-recession level.