indicatorThe Owl

Exports in March 2024

Alberta's international exports lower than last year

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 6 May 2024 1 min read

According to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada, the dollar value of Alberta’s international exports* perked up in March. 

Led by an uptick in energy product exports—which accounted for three-quarters of Alberta’s foreign sales in March—the total value of exports improved by 4.7% over February’s level.

The improvement in March is not surprising given that it’s a longer month than February.

Export data are also notoriously volatile on a month-over-month basis due to seasonal factors and short-term price movements.

Looking over a longer period, sales in the first quarter were 4.5% lower than over the same three months in 2023.

Lower prices for Alberta’s major crops (wheat, canola and barley) and natural gas were the main factors driving the pullback, with sales down in 7 of 12 subsectors.

Nationally, total exports were 3.2% lower in the first quarter versus the same quarter last year.

Looking ahead, the increased crude oil transportation capacity provided by the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will enable the volume of Alberta’s international crude oil exports to increase and help narrow the price differential. This will support an expected improvement in Alberta’s export volumes and prices in 2024.

*The data in today’s Owl refer to merchandise exports on a customs basis.

Answer to the previous trivia question: If the Keystone XL pipeline had gone ahead, it would have had the capacity to carry 830,000 barrels per day of crude from western Canadian oil fields to Gulf Coast refineries in the U.S.

Today’s trivia question: Which country has the larger population: Indonesia or the United States?

The monthly value of Alberta's international merchandise exports peaked in June 2022

The monthly value of Alberta's international merchandise exports peaked in June 2022

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