Issue 17-45: Exports
March 7, 2017
The value of B.C. origin exports climbed 25.8% year-over-year from January 2016 to January 2017. There was strong growth to B.C.’s largest trading partner, the United States, at 21.5%. In addition, substantial increases to Japan (+61.4%), South Korea (+103.6%), the European Union (+71.9%) and Taiwan (+22.6%) more than offset declines to Mainland China (-18.2%), Hong Kong (-33.6%), Australia (-21.3%) and India (‑57.6%).
The value of energy exports soared 118.9% year-over-year from January 2016 to January 2017. The strongest growth was for shipments of coal (+164.0%) and natural gas (+102.1%), but exports of electricity (+17.7%) and other energy products (+69.4%) also exhibited robust growth. For coal, the entire increase was due to a rise in price, as the volume of coal shipped actually declined 5.4%. For gas and electricity there were large jumps in volume as well.
Exports of solid wood products rose 6.1% in January 2017, compared to the first month of 2016 . The value of B.C.’s softwood lumber shipments climbed 7.2%, driving most of the increase; however, there were also increases to exports of selected value-added wood products (+17.8%), logs (+25.6%) and other panel products (i.e., excluding softwood plywood and veneer) (+0.6%). There was a decline in shipments of cedar shakes and shingles (-15.5%), softwood plywood and veneer (-0.7%) and other solid wood products (-23.3%).
Elsewhere in the forest sector, pulp and paper product exports edged up 0.5% as increased shipments of pulp (+1.5%) and paper and paperboard other than newsprint (+9.7%) offset decreased exports of newsprint (-40.8%) and other pulp and paper products (-3.9%).
B.C. shipments of metallic mineral products climbed 23.8% year-over-year from January 2016 to January 2017, despite a 7.6% drop in exports of copper ores and concentrates, which comprise over 40 percent of the commodity group. Unwrought aluminum (+99.5%), unwrought zinc (+44.7%), unwrought lead (+47.8%) and molybdenum ores and concentrates (+472.2%) all contributed to the overall increase in shipments.
There was a significant increase in exports of agriculture and food (+27.4%) and fish products (+18.8%) year-over-year from January 2016 to January 2017. Shipments of fabricated metal products also saw strong growth (+8.8%); however, there were declines in exports of machinery and equipment (-5.2%)  chemicals and chemical products (-9.7%), and plastics and articles of plastic (-22.0%).
 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. Growth rates may be slightly understated.
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 fell 7.9% in January with significant declines in shipments of energy products (‑8.6%), metal ores and non-metallic minerals (-26.2%), consumer goods (-18.9%), motor vehicles and parts (-53.7%), and farm, fishing and intermediate food products (-15.4%).
Exports fell to both the United States (-4.8%) and the rest of the world (-11.2%). Consumer goods (-15.3%), energy products (-6.3%) and forestry products and building and packaging materials (-4.4%) were the main commodity groups pulling down exports to the U.S., while energy products (-10.1%) and metal ores and non-metallic minerals (‑26.9%) were the primary contributors to the drop in shipments to the rest of the world.