Issue 17-88: Exports

August 4, 2017

By Destination

The value of B.C. origin exports jumped 23.9% in the first half of 2017, compared to the same six-month period a year earlier. There was strong growth in shipments to most major destinations. Exports to the United States, B.C.’s largest trading partner, expanded 13.9%. There was also double-digit growth in shipments to Mainland China (+10.0%), Japan (+49.9%), South Korea (+67.3%), the European Union (+57.5%), India (+41.8%), Taiwan (+56.9%) and Hong Kong (+16.2%), while exports to Mexico almost tripled (+192.2%).

By Commodity

The value of exports of energy products soared 132.7% year-to-date to June compared to the first half of 2016. Higher commodity prices drove much of the increase. For instance, while the value of coal shipments jumped 163.0%, the volume of coal shipped grew only 2.7%. Similarly, the value of natural gas exports was up 178.4%, but volumes climbed 98.4%. For electricity, the entire increase in value of 21.0% was due to higher prices as volumes exported fell 4.4%.

There was a modest 2.0% rise in exports of solid wood products year-to-date to June.[1] Increased shipments of softwood lumber (+1.6%), logs (+19.1%), softwood plywood and veneer (+0.4%) and other panel products (+7.9%) more than offset declines in exports of selected value-added wood products (-2.4%), cedar shakes and shingles (‑11.6%) and other solid wood products (-11.6%).

Elsewhere in the forest sector, there was strong growth in exports of pulp and paper products (+11.6%). Shipments of pulp (+13.3%), newsprint (+8.7%), other paper and paperboard (+2.1%) and other pulp and paper products (+16.8%) all increased.

Exports of metallic mineral products climbed 14.2% over the first half of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016, despite a 3.6% decline in shipments of copper ores and concentrates, which comprise just over half of all metallic mineral product exports. Robust growth in exports of unwrought aluminum (+46.6%), unwrought zinc (+41.0%), unwrought lead (+4.9%), molybdenum ores and concentrates (+348.0%) and other metallic mineral products (+26.1%) more than offset the drop in copper shipments.

There was a 4.1% rise in shipments of machinery and equipment year-to-date to June.[2] Exports of fabricated metal products (+11.4%) and agriculture and food (+20.1%) also saw robust growth. Shipments of fish products were fairly flat, edging up only 0.2%, while there were decreases in exports of chemicals and chemical products (-8.8%) and plastics and articles of plastic (-9.3%).

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 dropped 1.4% in June, driven largely by a 12.0% decline in shipments of energy products. Some of the decrease was offset by a 41.7% surge in exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals and a 4.4% rise in shipments of forestry products and building and packaging materials.

Exports to the United States fell 3.1%, while shipments to the rest of the world inched up 0.2%. The slump in exports to the U.S. was largely the result of a 3.6% drop in shipments of forestry products and building and packaging materials and a 12.9% decline in exports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts. For the rest of the world, a 19.0% reduction in energy product shipments was offset by substantial increases in exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals (+49.6%) and forestry products and building and packaging materials (+12.5%).

Visit the exports and imports page on the BC Stats website.

 

[1] Note that due to revisions to the commodity codes, there may be a small data break in the selected value-added wood products category, which also affects the total of solid wood products. Grow rates may be slightly understated.

[2] Note that due to revisions to the commodity codes, there may be a data break in the machinery and equipment commodity grouping. Growth rates may be overstated.