Exports improved in June
The value of Alberta's exports improved by 5 per cent in June, but we were still 40 per cent below where they were in March
By ATB Economics 6 August 2020 1 min read
If we think of major economic indicators as an elevator and our destination as the upper floors, the car we were riding in plummeted during the lockdown. It has started to climb upward again, but we are still many floors below where we were before COVID-19 and the oil price crash started pushing the buttons.
The monthly value of Alberta’s exports is a case in point.
Already prone to going up and down as oil prices fluctuate, Alberta’s international merchandise exports fell by 28 per cent in April and by another 20 per cent in May.
The ride back up began in June when sales improved by 5 per cent, but we were still 40 per cent ($3.7 billion) below where we were in March.
In the country as a whole, exports fell by 32 per cent in April, followed by a rise of 3 per cent in May and an increase of 20 per cent in June. Canada’s exports remained down by 15 per cent compared to the pre-shock level set in March.
If we exclude crude oil and natural gas, Alberta’s exports to other countries fell by 11 per cent in April, by 2 per cent in May and by 4 per cent in June for a total decline since March of 17 per cent.
The value of Alberta’s oil and gas exports, meanwhile, tumbled by 38 per cent in April, by another 34 per cent in May, but grew by 15 per cent in June for a total decline since March of 53 per cent.
Oil prices will, as always, be a key factor going forward, but so too will be the pace of the economic recovery in the U.S. and the other markets for our exports.