Value of exports drops, erasing March’s gain
It was a fairly similar story elsewhere in the country with monthly export revenues down in seven other provinces
By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 12 June 2023 1 min read
After a record year in 2022 spurred on by high commodity prices, Alberta's exports are showing signs of coming back down to reality. The value of Alberta’s international merchandise exports* was down by $2.6 billion (-15.9%) in April and fell to the lowest level in eighteen months.
Despite an uptick in oil prices in April, energy exports fell 18.4%, largely driven by seasonal maintenance interfering with oil production.
The value of Alberta’s non-energy exports to other countries also pulled back with lower agricultural and industrial machinery sales in the month. They managed, however, to remain 3.9% above the same month last year.
April was the second month in a row of year-over-year export declines, driven in large part by falling prices. As a result, revenues are down by $2.1 billion (-3.4%) on a year-to-date (YTD) basis relative to the first four months of 2022.
Further year-over-year declines are expected given last year’s inflated results. A run-up in prices in the spring and summer of 2022 for both energy and agriculture products contributed to record export values.
It was a fairly similar story elsewhere in the country with monthly export revenues down in seven other provinces.
Despite a 10.8% monthly decline in April, national export revenues were up by 6.2% YTD with Ontario alone responsible for the majority (75%) of the increase.
*Provincial export statistics are reported on a “customs basis” rather than the “balance of payments basis” (BOP) and are not adjusted for seasonality. National statistics reported in Statistics Canada’s The Daily have been seasonally adjusted and are on a BOP basis. Note that national exports on a seasonally adjusted BOP basis showed a 2.5% increase in April over March compared to a 10.8% decrease on an unadjusted customs basis.
Answer to the previous trivia question: Net international migration to Alberta set a record in the third quarter of last year by adding 33,297 residents to the provincial population.
Today’s trivia question: When did the World Trade Organization commence operations?