Exports from Alberta lower in September
Lower oil prices in September explain the monthly drop in Alberta
By ATB Economics 4 November 2020 1 min read
After three months of growth, Alberta’s international merchandise exports* contracted by 6.1 per cent ($458 million) in September. Nationally, exports increased for a fifth consecutive month, rising by 6.7 per cent ($2.7 billion).
Alberta is also lagging the country on a year-over-year basis.
Compared to September 2019, Alberta’s monthly exports were down by 24.7 per cent ($2.3 billion) whereas year-over-year exports were off by a more modest 6.2 per cent ($2.8 billion) in the country as a whole. If Alberta is excluded, year-over-year exports in the rest of the country were down by only 1.4 per cent ($492 million).
Lower oil prices in September explain the monthly drop in Alberta with exports from the energy products category 10.3 per cent ($518 million) lower than they were in August.
Adding up international sales over the first nine months of the year, there is a $20.3 billion hole in the energy products category compared to sales over the same period last year. In percentage terms, Alberta’s year-to-date energy exports were down by 31.7 per cent.
On the bright side, year-to-date exports in the farm, fishing and intermediate food products category were up by 7.6 per cent ($434 million).
Although still down on a year-to-date basis by 3.6 per cent ($119 million), strong lumber prices pushed up the value of exports in the forestry products and building and packaging materials category for the third month in a row with September’s sales up by 13.5 per cent ($54 million).
*The data have not been adjusted for season variation and are on a customs basis.