Issue 16-37: Exports

March 4, 2016

  • B.C. exports climbed 2.0% in January compared to the same month a year earlier.
  • Solid wood product exports jumped 20.1% in January compared to January 2015.
  • Energy product exports fell 27.9% in January compared to the same month in 2015.

By Destination

The value of B.C. origin commodity exports increased 2.0% in January, compared to the same month in 2015. There was strong growth in shipments to B.C.’s largest trading partners, the United States (+6.5%) and Mainland China (+8.4%), but shipments to Japan (‑34.8%), India (-31.4%) and Hong Kong (-21.3%) have dropped significantly. There was a substantial jump in exports to Australia (+45.6%) as well as Taiwan (+17.2%), while shipments to South Korea (+2.1%) and the European Union (+0.4%) experienced more moderate growth.

By Commodity

There was robust growth of 20.1% in shipments of solid wood products in January, compared to the same month a year earlier. All major wood categories experienced an increase, with the exception of logs, which saw exports fall 26.1%. There was a double-digit rise in exports of softwood lumber (+19.1%), softwood plywood and veneer (+28.8%), other panel products (+28.2%), selected value added wood products (+41.1%) and cedar shakes and shingles (+25.8%), while shipments of other solid wood products more than doubled (+120.2%).

B.C.'s wood product exports continue to trend up

Elsewhere in the forest sector, pulp and paper product exports rose 1.8% in January. Most of the increase was due to a 5.1% boost in shipments of pulp, as exports of newsprint (-25.1%) and other paper and paperboard (‑7.5%) fell. Shipments of other paper product shipments also contributed to the overall growth, climbing 17.0%.

Exports of energy products continued to slump in January, falling 27.9% compared to January 2015. Exports of electricity bucked the trend, jumping 38.4%; however, shipments of natural gas (-35.6%), coal (-31.3%) and other energy products (-24.0%) all experienced double-digit declines.

The value of metallic mineral product shipments fell 12.2% year-over-year from January 2015 to January 2016, despite a 21.1% rise in exports of unwrought aluminum and a 14.9% increase in shipments of unwrought lead. A 4.5% drop in exports of copper ores and concentrates, combined with substantial declines in shipments of molybdenum ores and concentrates (-88.6%), unwrought zinc (-17.2%) and other metallic mineral products (-69.1%) drove the overall decrease.

Exports of machinery and equipment jumped 24.1% in January, driven largely by a 117.6% boost in shipments of motor vehicles and parts and a 134.8% expansion in exports of aircraft and parts. Other commodity groups to experience considerable export growth included chemicals and chemical products (+15.6%), plastics and articles of plastic (+39.5%), fabricated metal products (+18.2%) and fish products (+19.0%). However, there was a 3.7% dip in shipments of agriculture and food products.

Seasonally Adjusted Exports

Seasonal adjustment provides a means of making month-to-month comparisons by removing the periodic seasonal fluctuations that occur. Variations from normal seasonal patterns are revealed in the seasonally adjusted series.

The value of B.C.’s commodity exports grew 2.0% in January as a 4.7% rise in shipments to the United States more than offset a 0.8% dip in exports to the rest of the world. A 16.0% jump in exports of energy products was the most significant driver of the overall increase, but there was also strong growth in shipments of forestry products and building and packaging materials (+1.9%) and industrial machinery, equipment and parts (+10.0%). Growth was tempered somewhat by a 26.4% slump in exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products.

The same drivers of the overall expansion were instrumental in the increase in shipments to the United States. Exports of energy products (+30.1%), forestry products and building and packaging materials (+3.3%) and industrial machinery, equipment and parts (+15.2%) all had robust growth. The primary reason for the decline in shipments to the rest of the world was a 56.9% plunge in the value of exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products.

More information about British Columbia exports is available.

Did you know?

Almost 80% of British Columbia’s commodity exports are shipped to just three countries: The United States, Mainland China and Japan.