All provinces forecast to see solid export growth next year against a backdrop of a new North American trade deal
Today Export Development Canada (EDC) released its fall Global Export Forecast, and expectations for 2019 show solid export growth across all provinces. Nationally, exports of goods are expected to grow another four per cent in 2019, following a six per cent boost this year.
“There have certainly been some ups and downs among the provinces this year,” said Peter Hall, Chief Economist at EDC. “It isn’t surprising, given the major economic and trade-related stories that Canadian exporters lived through during 2018. We expect conditions to stabilize in 2019, with growth forecast across every province and territory.”
- Newfoundland and Labrador is looking at a 33 per cent increase in exports this year and should see another double-digit increase in 2019 thanks to increasing oil production from the Hebron offshore oil platform and the ramp-up of Vale's Long Harbour nickel processing plant.
- Prince Edward Island’s exports are expected to contract by four per cent this year, but frozen food manufacturing – PEI's largest export industry – will support a rebound of eight per cent growth for 2019.
- In New Brunswick, exports should rise by 10 per cent this year – double the five percent projected last spring – and will rack up another solid year in 2019. Stronger commodity prices, improved conditions in the fishing sector and the US International Trade Commission's decision to rescind duties on Canadian newsprint exports are behind the jump.
- In Ontario, maxed-out US auto sales and the uncertainty around the future of NAFTA weighed negatively on the outlook for much of 2018. EDC suggests the province’s exports will grow by only one per cent this year (revised down from the four per cent forecast in the spring).
- Exports from British Columbia have also been softer than expected this year. EDC projects that the province will end up with a four per cent increase, down a shade from the spring forecast. However, expectations for 2019 are up, with another four percent increase in the works.
- Alberta enjoyed a banner year in 2018 with 11 per cent growth driven in part by the ramping up of oil production for the Fort Hills oil sands project. 2019 will build on this growth with another three per cent increase, thanks to new export capacity growth in the energy sector and the anticipated opening of the Cavendish Farms frozen potato processing plant.
Commodities and manufactured goods continue to make strong contributions to the bottom line. The Aerospace sector is still expected to see the biggest gains, rising 10 per cent in 2019 on the heels of a 19 per cent gain this year that saw foreign sales reach $19 billion.
In contrast, automotive exports will dip in 2018 before a modest bounce-back next year. While foreign sales of auto parts and heavier transportation equipment will be steady, exports of passenger cars and light vehicles are expected to fall slightly due to sales reaching peak levels in the US and related temporary plant closures.
Agri-food exports will slide by one per cent this year. This includes seafood, which, in spite of double-digit sales to China is generally supply-constrained. Growth should rise to four per cent in 2019.
The forecast for ores and metals has been downgraded slightly, but still sits at a strong seven per cent increase for 2018 with a further three per cent boost in 2019.
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