Price-driven energy exports dip in first half
Sales of agriculture and food products helped to offset some of the drawdown in energy exports
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 8 August 2023 1 min read
With the price of oil and natural gas well below the peaks reached last year, the year-to-date (YTD) value of Alberta’s international energy product exports has slipped by 19% ($14.8 billion) over the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
Because energy products represent about three-quarters of Alberta’s international merchandise exports, it is no surprise that total YTD international sales were down by 14% ($13.5 billion).
Despite this, Alberta’s YTD exports were still 46% ($27 billion) higher than in 2019 before COVID.
Sales of agriculture and food products helped to offset some of the drawdown in energy exports so far this year, posting a 51% YTD increase ($2.2 billion).
Crop production, which was up by 49% in Alberta last year, combined with still-elevated prices explain the strong YTD performance.
Forestry exports pulled back by 31% YTD ($1.4 billion) while chemical and plastic exports dipped by 8% ($451.4 million).
Although smaller slices of Alberta’s export pie, YTD sales were up in a number of other sectors, including industrial machinery (54%), aircraft and other transportation equipment (38%), and electronics (17%).
Nationally, YTD merchandise exports* were essentially flat compared to 2022.
*National exports are reported on both a customs basis and a balance of payments basis. Because the provincial statistics cited above are on a customs basis, we have used the same basis for the national figure. National YTD exports on a balance of payments basis were 2% lower than in 2022.
Answer to the previous trivia question: Twenty years ago, the minimum wage in Alberta was $5.90 per hour.
Today’s trivia question: Which province led all others in terms of the dollar value of its international exports of agriculture products over the first half of 2023?