Issue 18-136 Exports

August 3, 2018

  • B.C. exports rose 4.4% in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period a year earlier.
  • Exports of metallic mineral products jumped 17.7% in the first 6 months of 2018.
  • Exports of metallic mineral products jumped 17.7% in the first 6 months of 2018.

By Destination

The value of B.C. origin exports climbed 4.4% through the first two quarters of 2018, compared to the same six-month period a year earlier. This was despite a 1.9% decline in shipments to B.C.’s largest customer, the United States. There was also a dip in exports to South Korea (-1.7%). The drop in exports to the U.S. and South Korea was offset by significant increases in shipments to Mainland China (+12.0%), the European Union (+11.3%), Japan (+2.5%), India (+63.9%) and Taiwan (+29.5%).

There has been a sharp increase in B.C. exports to the EU since the provisional application of the free trade agreement between Canada and the EU

There has been a sharp increase in B.C. exports to the EU since the provisional application of the free trade agreement between Canada and the EU

Source: Statistics Canada/Prepared by BC Stats

By Commodity

The value of B.C.’s energy product exports fell 6.8% in the first half of 2018, despite a 4.6% rise in coal shipments, which comprise around two-thirds of the value of total energy product exports. Electricity exports slumped 36.8%, natural gas shipments fell 27.4%, and other energy product exports dropped 5.9%. In the case of natural gas, the decline was entirely due to lower prices, as the volume of gas shipped actually climbed 4.8%.

Exports of metallic mineral products rose 17.7% in the first six months of 2018, compared to the same period a year earlier. Copper ores and concentrates, which make up about half of all metallic mineral product shipments from the province, grew 9.2%. With the exception of unwrought lead (-16.8%), there was at least double-digit growth from all other major commodity groups, including unwrought aluminum (+18.6%), unwrought zinc (+29.0%), and molybdenum ores and concentrates (+40.7%). Exports of all other metallic mineral products soared 325.4%.

Shipments of softwood lumber fell 2.2% in the first half of 2018, compared to the same period in 2017. There were declines in exports of softwood lumber (-4.3%), logs (-8.5%), selected value added wood products (-6.7%) and cedar shakes and shingles (-21.4%). On the other hand, softwood plywood and veneer (+17.8%), other panel products (+10.1%) and other solid wood products (+24.1%) experienced a rise in shipments.

Elsewhere in the forest sector, pulp and paper exports have experienced a resurgence, rising 24.1% year-to-date to June. Shipments of pulp have jumped 30.7%, while newsprint (+1.3%), and other paper and paperboard (+12.2%) have seen more modest increases. However, exports of all other pulp and paper products (e.g., envelopes, boxes, bags, etc.) have dropped 25.9%.

B.C.’s exports of machinery and equipment climbed 10.3% year-to-date to June, including an 80.8% surge in shipments of motor vehicles and parts, and a 21.5% rise in exports of aircraft and parts.

Exports of agriculture and food products grew 4.0%, while fish product shipments increased 2.8%. There was also a jump in shipments of fabricated metal products (+12.2%) and plastics and articles of plastic (+19.6%). Exports of chemicals and chemical products inched up 0.4%.

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 jumped 8.2% in June, driven largely by a substantial increase in shipments of energy products (+18.3%), as well as significant boosts in exports of forestry products and building and packaging materials (+5.2%), and metal ores and non-metallic minerals (+23.2%).

Exports to the U.S. climbed 5.7%, while shipments to the rest of the world rose 10.6%. Most of the increase in exports to the U.S. was due to significant increases in shipments of energy products (+26.8%) and forestry products and building and packaging materials (+6.4%). Energy products were also the primary driver in increased exports to the rest of the world, with shipments of those goods climbing 15.1%. Metal ores and non-metallic minerals (+22.7%), and metal and non-metallic mineral products (+36.0%) also played a large role in the rise in exports to the rest of the world.

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