Exports likely bottomed out in April
The value of Alberta’s exports of goods to other countries fell by 29 per cent ($2.6 billion) in April compared to March.
By ATB Economics 9 June 2020 1 min read
Low oil prices and the dampening effects of the pandemic pushed down the value of Alberta’s merchandise exports in April.
The value of Alberta’s exports of goods to other countries fell by 29 per cent ($2.6 billion) in April compared to March. On a year-over-year basis, the drop was 39 per cent ($4.1 billion).
Almost 83 per cent of the monthly drop in export value was due to a decline in energy* exports, which fell by $2.2 billion in April. Although the volume of energy exports also fell, the oil price crash was the main reason for decline.
The last time the value of energy exports from Alberta was this low was in 2016 when forest fires forced the shut-in of a large amount of oil production.
Non-energy exports fell by about 15 per cent in April ($455 million), with most major export categories experiencing declines. Agricultural exports, for example, fell by 7 per cent, chemicals and plastics by 15 per cent, industrial machinery by 26 per cent, and consumer goods by 27 per cent.
The pandemic also affected imports, with the value of foreign goods entering Alberta down by 21 per cent ($491 million) in April.
Our international exports will pick up as economies reopen, but will be constrained by soft oil prices and recessionary conditions in the U.S. and around the world.
*Energy exports include crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids and related products, coal, electricity, and refined petroleum products.