indicatorThe Owl

Agriculture in an interconnected world

Canada exported just under $68 billion worth of agricultural products to 201 different countries last year.

By ATB Economics 18 March 2020 1 min read

A note on COVID-19: The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on the economy here in Alberta and around the world. The Owl will report on these impacts when good information is available while continuing to track regularly scheduled releases of economic data and long-term trends.

For additional information on COVID-19 and advice for the public, please visit World Health Organization or Alberta Health Services. Please go to atb.com for COVID-19-related updates from ATB Financial.

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Among the many effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the spotlight it has placed on the economic interdependencies that link our world together. These links are tremendously beneficial—in good times and bad. They can also create challenges when international supply chains and the movement of goods across borders are disrupted. In this case, by efforts to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19.

One area of potential disruption is the movement of food around the world. Canada is a major exporter of agricultural products that help keep people around the world from going hungry. Canada exported just under $68 billion worth of agricultural products to 201 different countries last year. Alberta’s agricultural sector accounted for about 17 per cent ($11.4 billion) of this and sold products to 153 countries.

On the receiving side, Canada imported $49.8 billion worth of food and beverage products last year from over 200 countries. This works out to $1,324 per person.

Because imports are recorded based on where they land in Canada rather than where they end up, provincial-level data underestimate international imports to Alberta. Despite this, the data show we imported at least $3.3 billion worth of food and beverages from other countries in 2019 or $766 per Albertan.

Given the importance, efforts have and will be taken to ensure the movement of vital goods—such as food—will continue to flow so people around the world can take advantage of Canada’s agricultural sector and we can take advantage of theirs.

Canadian agriculture imports, 2019

Canada imported $49.8 billion worth of food and beverage products last year


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