Newfoundland and Labrador poised to lead country in export growth next year

While Atlantic Canada’s export story was driven by high demand and record prices in the region’s seafood sector, a new global export forecast from Export Development Canada (EDC) predicts that the energy and metal ore industries will drive Atlantic Canada’s export growth in 2017.

“The record high growth in the seafood sector this year was supported by tight global supplies and steady demand from the US and Asian markets,” says Peter Hall, Chief Economist, EDC. “Even with the slight deceleration in China, its population’s rising disposable incomes and appetite for seafood continues to drive growth in Atlantic Canada.”

“And with the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union finally being ratified, we can expect seafood exports to increase even further in the future,” added Mr. Hall. “The phasing out of tariffs on these goods will take several years, but it is a great development and something to look forward to for Atlantic Canada.”

Next year, EDC expects to see a swap in the top growth sectors in Atlantic Canada. While agri-food exports will remain strong, prices have reached their peak. Energy and mining companies in the region will be taking the lead in terms of export growth next year thanks to an expected rebound from low commodity prices.

“Newfoundland and Labrador will benefit most from this switch,” said Mr. Hall. “The province’s exports struggled in 2016 because of recent quota cuts in seafood exports, but the increase in mining output and higher oil prices is expected to completely offset this drop next year. The result will be 12 per cent growth in Newfoundland and Labrador’s exports in 2017, which will be the best provincial export performance in Canada.” 

EDC’s forecast predicts that the improvement in the outlook for metals and ores exports will be driven by stronger shipments than expected because of investments coming online after prolonged delays.

The region’s forestry sector is expected to see a lag in export growth in 2017 owing to tariffs imposed by the US government on newsprint exports. In addition, the uncertainty surrounding the expiry of the Softwood Lumber Agreement and the possibility that the US will impose new lumber duties have the potential to negatively affect New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  

For the full report, visit EDC’s Global Export Forecast: Fall 2016.

About EDC

Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian businesses make an impact at home and abroad. EDC has the financial products and knowledge Canadian companies need to confidently enter new markets, reduce financial risk and grow their business as they go from local to global. Together, EDC and Canadian companies are building a more prosperous, stronger and sustainable economy for all Canadians.

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