Canadian merchandise export growth is forecast to grow by 8% in 2017 as higher commodity prices, coupled with stronger exports of consumer goods, result in a rebound after a contraction in nominal exports in 2016. With commodity price growth expected to moderate in 2018, Canadian exports are expected to increase by 4% as volume gains lead export growth.
Canada’s energy-producing provinces are benefiting from oil prices which have stabilized above levels a year ago, and growing production as projects initiated before the collapse in oil prices come online. In Alberta, this has been coupled with a strong recovery in oil exports from a year ago when wildfires curtailed output. Newfoundland and Labrador will also see double-digit export growth as the offshore Hebron oil platform is expected to begin operations at the end of 2017 and Vale’s Long Harbour processing facility begins ramping up production. New Brunswick is expected to benefit from an increase in the value of refined products exports which will help offset the uncertainty its lumber sector is encountering due to softwood lumber duties imposed by the U.S.
Unlike crude oil, fertilizer has not experienced strong price gains in 2017 and a minimal correction is expected in 2018. However, for Saskatchewan, the stabilized oil outlook, increased potash production and strong canola prices and production are forecast to result in near double-digit export growth for the province.
Canada’s two non-oil producing Atlantic Provinces have divergent outlooks for their exports. Prince Edward Island’s export growth will remain robust as strong demand for frozen french fries coupled with expanding aerospace products manufacturing propel growth. For Nova Scotia, the outlook is for almost flat growth in exports as a weather-impaired start to the fishing season will restrain production. However, both provinces are expected to benefit in 2018 as Canada’s trade deal with the EU will increase access to Europe for their agriculture and fishing products.
The diversified manufacturing provinces of Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba will see more modest growth compared to their resource-dependent peers. However, planned investments from automotive manufacturers, the ramp-up in production of Bombardier’s C Series aircraft and a strong order book at the Manitoba-based bus manufacturer New Flyer will support growth respectively.
For British Columbia, strong prices are helping push up the value of exports in 2017. However, the impacts of U.S. countervailing duties on softwood lumber exports coupled with a historically destructive wildfire season are expected to restrain export growth in 2018.
Canadian Merchandise Export Forecast by Province
|Provinces||CAD bn 2016||Share of Total Goods Exports 2016||2016||Export Outlook
(% growth) 2017 (f)
|Total Goods Exports||469.3||100%||-2.6%||8%||4%|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||8.4||2%||-8.1%||17%||12%|
|Prince Edward Island||1.3||0%||1.1%||6%||4%|
Sources: Statistics Canada, EDC Economics, 2016 is actual data while 2017 and 2018 are forecast.
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