Issue 17-88: Exports
August 4, 2017
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%).
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. 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. 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.
 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.
 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.