Agri-food and motor vehicle sectors powered by demand from the United States and China

Powered by strong results in the agri-food and motor vehicles and parts sectors, Nova Scotia’s exports will grow by six per cent this year and by four per cent in 2017, according to Export Development Canada’s (EDC) semi-annual Global Export Forecast. The positive outlook is being driven by a weaker Canadian dollar and strong demand from the United States and China.

“Nova Scotia is having a very strong 2016 for exports, thanks to a thriving agri-food sector and strong motor vehicle and parts shipments,” says Peter Hall, EDC’s Chief Economist. “The low dollar is definitely making Nova Scotia products more attractive to foreign buyers. Demand from the province’s two biggest export destinations, the U.S. and China, is rising rapidly to complete the good news story.”

For Nova Scotia, international demand is happening across all the top sectors. EDC expects agri-food exports, which account for nearly 40 per cent of the province’s total exports, to rise by nine per cent in 2016 and five per cent next year. Despite China’s recent slowdown, the country remains a top export destination for seafood, particularly lobster. China’s middle class is now larger than America’s, and the Chinese consumer’s appetite for high-quality seafood is acting as a boon for Nova Scotia’s seafood industry. The province’s seafood exports will score a further boost when the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union is ratified early next year.

Turning to the province’s motor vehicles and parts sector, export growth is due to strong prices and an upswing in demand from U.S. consumers and businesses for heavy trucks and SUVs. According to EDC, this sector’s exports will grow ten per cent this year and a further two per cent next year.

Demand from south of the border will also help forestry – Nova Scotia’s third-largest exporting sector. While exports will see a four per cent decline this year, 2017 will see them grow by seven per cent, largely due to sustained double-digit growth in U.S. housing starts and the resolution of a trade issue with the U.S. government on newsprint exports.

“U.S. demand for Nova Scotia’s traditional exports is strong, but don’t count out Asia and emerging markets all over the world. Things are good for Nova Scotia in those markets as well,” adds Hall. “We are also encouraged by investments in the province’s aerospace and defence industry which will expand production in response to growing global demand.”

Nova’s Scotia’s export picture presents enticing export opportunities for companies and producers across the province. Exporters, and those thinking about exporting, are encouraged to look to EDC for market intelligence and financing services that can help them capitalize on these opportunities.

“Now is the time for Nova Scotia’s exporters to look to EDC for help in growing their current exports and getting into new markets,” adds Hall.

Mr. Hall is discussing Nova Scotia and Canada’s export prospects today at the Halifax World Trade Convention Centre Hotel. The event is being held in collaboration with the Halifax Partnership. Over the past month, Hall has been travelling across Canada for EDC’s Let’s Talk Exports tour, which offers insights on the current global economy and explores how economic trends will impact Canadian companies and exporters.

Visit EDC’s Global Export Forecast: Spring 2016 to learn more.

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.

For more information and to learn how we can help your company, call us at 1-800-229-0575 or visit