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Wood, beef, canola and plastic lead export growth

Wood, beef, canola and plastic lead export growth

Posted on: 11/15/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team


When it comes to the products Alberta exports, crude oil and natural gas dominate. Together, oil (59 per cent) and gas (9 per cent) accounted for 68 per cent of our international exports last year. Despite being up from where they were in 2012, our two largest exports are being outpaced by sales growth in other areas.

Looking at our top 25 export products in terms of their dollar value in 2017, we find that sales of oriented strand board (engineered panels made of small pieces of wood that are compressed and glued together) jumped a whopping 733 per cent between 2012 and 2017. Sales went from $67 million in 2012 to $556 million.

Softwood lumber posted the next highest gain, with sales 169 per cent higher in 2017 than in 2012 ($375 million versus over $1 billion). The third best performer is boneless cuts of beef with sales going from $528 million in 2012 to $1.1 billion in 2017, for an increase of 107 per cent.

Oil cake (a residue left over from canola oil processing that is used as animal feed) and canola oil itself have both done well as have plastic, propane and petroleum oils such as jet fuel.

Unfortunately, some export products that were among Alberta’s 25 best sellers in 2012 have seen their sales plummet over the last five years. Exports of coal are down 84 per cent and sales of machinery related to the oil and gas sector are down by as much as 76 per cent.

Exports high, graph​​

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