Issue 17-99: Exports

September 6, 2017

By Destination

Through the first seven months of 2017, B.C. origin exports jumped 19.6% compared to the same period in 2016. There was double-digit growth in exports to most of B.C.’s major trading partners, including the United States (+10.6%), Mainland China (+12.0%), Japan (+35.4%), South Korea (+56.2%), the European Union (+42.1%), India (+78.9%) and Taiwan (+41.7%).

By Commodity

The value of B.C.’s exports of energy products more than doubled (+103.6%) year-to-date to July, compared to the January to July period in 2016. Higher prices for energy products were responsible for much of the increase. For example, the value of coal shipments shot up 131.1%; however, volumes of coal shipped actually fell 0.8%. Similarly, electricity exports grew 10.0%, despite a 7.3% drop in volume of electricity exported. There was a 139.7% jump in the value of exports of natural gas, while volumes of the good climbed only 76.9%.

There was a marginal 0.6% decline in shipments of solid wood products over the first seven months of 2017, compared to the same period a year earlier. Exports of softwood lumber fell 1.7% and there were also drops in shipments of selected value added wood products (-5.6%), cedar shakes and shingles (-11.2%) and “other” solid wood products (-10.7%). Strong growth in exports of logs (+17.6%) and other panel products (+7.5%), plus a marginal increase in shipments of softwood plywood and veneer (0.1%) was not enough to offset the declines elsewhere.

Pulp and paper product exports were up 10.7% year-to-date to July. There was strong growth in shipments of pulp (+12.2%), newsprint (+7.7%), other paper and paperboard (+2.8%) and other pulp and paper products (+15.6%).

There has been robust growth in shipments of agriculture and food products (excluding fish) year-to-date, with an increase of 15.4%. There was particularly strong growth in exports of vegetables (+48.8%) and although still relatively small, shipments of vegetable oil were more than five times the value of the same period a year earlier (+407.7%). Exports of fruit and nuts bucked the overall trend, falling 19.6%. There was also a 1.0% decline in shipments of fish products.

B.C.’s exports of metallic mineral products climbed 11.9% year-to-date to July. This was despite the fact that shipments of copper ores and concentrates, which comprise over half the value of all B.C.’s metallic mineral product exports, fell 4.3%. Substantial growth in shipments of unwrought aluminum (+41.5%), unwrought zinc (+32.1%) and molybdenum ores and concentrates (+300.7%) helped offset the drop in copper ores and concentrates.

There was reasonably strong growth in exports of fabricated metal products (+13.5%) and machinery and equipment (+3.8%); however, there were declines in shipments of chemicals and chemical products (-8.3%) and plastics and articles of plastic (-7.9%).

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.

There was a 4.5% drop in the value of B.C.’s commodity exports in July, driven largely by an 8.1% slump in shipments of forestry products and building and packaging materials and a 6.0% decline in exports of energy products.

Exports fell both to the United States (-2.9%) and the rest of the world (-6.2%). In both cases, forestry products and building and packaging materials, and energy products were responsible for much of the decrease. Shipments of forestry products to the U.S. fell 7.1%, while energy product shipments dropped 4.2%. To the rest of the world, there was a 9.0% decline in exports of forestry products and a 7.3% drop in shipments of energy products.

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