indicatorThe Owl

Exports from Alberta to China improved in 2020

China is our second largest customer at 5.0 per cent of Alberta’s exports in 2020

By ATB Economics 25 February 2021 1 min read

Today’s Owl is part three of a series on Alberta’s exports in 2020.

Pandemic or not, the United States is Alberta’s largest international customer by a wide margin.

In 2020, exports to the U.S. accounted for 84.4 per cent of the total value of Alberta’s merchandise exports—down by 3.6 percentage points compared to 2019.

Alberta’s sales to U.S. customers were down by 25.2 per cent ($26.0 billion) while exports to countries other than the U.S. increased by 1.4 per cent ($0.2 billion).

If we exclude oil and gas sector* exports, Alberta’s merchandise sales to the U.S. were down by 6.8 per cent ($1.4 billion) and up just slightly to countries other than the U.S. at +0.04 per cent ($5.2 million).

China is our second largest customer at 5.0 per cent of Alberta’s exports in 2020 ($4.5 billion). Our exports to China in 2020 were up by 6.8 per cent compared to 2019 largely due to stronger canola, wheat and barley exports.

Japan is our third largest buyer at 2.2 per cent ($2.0 billion) of Alberta’s exports in 2020. Sales to Japan spiked last year by 18 per cent due to the purchase of $270 million of propane. This was the first purchase of propane from Alberta by Japan since at least 1990.

*Includes NAICS codes 211 (oil and gas extraction), 213111 (oil and gas contract drilling), 213118 (Services to oil and gas extraction) and 32411 (petroleum refineries).

Answer to the previous trivia question: Just under 18 per cent of Canada’s total international merchandise exports in 2020 were from Alberta.

Today’s trivia question: Customers located in which U.S. state bought the most wheat (in dollar value terms) from Alberta in 2020?

Alberta's exports to China in 2020 were up by 6.8 per cent compared to 2019

Alberta's exports to China in 2020 were up by 6.8 per cent compared to 2019


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