Agriculture and lumber exports doing well
With the pandemic and oil price crash in play, Alberta’s export sector has had many ups and downs in 2020
By ATB Economics 12 November 2020 1 min read
Exports of goods to other countries generated 39 per cent of Alberta’s GDP last year. The average across the 10 provinces was 27 per cent.
With the pandemic and oil price crash in play, Alberta’s export sector has had many ups and downs in 2020.
Over the first nine months of the year, total merchandise exports to other countries were down by 25 per cent compared to the same period last year, but not all export categories have been equally affected.
Helped by the lifting of the Chinese government’s ban on Canadian canola in March 2019, Alberta’s canola exports were up by 35 per cent ($535 million) on a year-to-date basis in September. The value of wheat exports was also up with sales 14 per cent ($222 million) higher so far this year.
Lumber exports were up by 28 per cent ($186 million) as were particle board sales (64 per cent or $216 million). Exports of wood pulp, however, were down by 20 per cent ($286 million).
On the energy front, coal exports were up by 54 per cent ($119 million) as were biodiesel sales (64 per cent or $110 million). Crude oil exports, on the other hand, were down by 31 per cent ($18 billion) while natural gas exports were off by 41 per cent ($1.8 billion).
Plastic exports (mostly ethylene) were down by 18 per cent ($590 million). Machinery exports were also below where they were this time last year by 28 per cent ($851 million).