Issue 18-186 Exports

November 2, 2018

By Destination

The value of B.C. origin exports climbed 7.5% in the first three quarters of 2018, compared to the same nine-month period a year earlier. Shipments increased to each of B.C.’s top three export destinations: the United States (+4.2%), Mainland China (+7.8%) and Japan (+7.8%). There was also substantial growth in exports to the EU (+17.0%), India (+53.2%), Taiwan (+37.1%) and Hong Kong (+20.0%); however, shipments to South Korea fell 3.6%.

By Commodity

The value of B.C.’s exports of energy products dipped 1.3% over the first nine months of 2018, compared to the same period a year earlier. A 19.9% drop in the value of natural gas shipments was responsible for decline, as exports of coal (+4.3%), electricity (+2.1%) and other energy products (+13.9%) all increased. Lower prices were the reason for the decrease in natural gas shipments, as volumes of gas exported climbed 7.1%. For electricity, the opposite was true, as the quantity of electricity exported fell 33.5%, but higher prices resulted in the increase in value.

Exports November 2018

B.C.’s shipments of pulp and paper products surged 24.3% in the first three quarters of 2018, compared to the same period a year earlier. A 28.7% rise in exports of pulp was the primary driver of the overall increase, although shipments of newsprint (+12.2%) and other paper and paperboard (+18.6%) also recorded strong growth. However, exports of other pulp and paper products fell 20.3%.

Elsewhere in the forest sector, there was a 2.9% increase in exports of solid wood products. Despite facing tariffs from the United States, shipments of softwood lumber rose 3.5%. There were also increases in exports of softwood plywood and veneer (+21.0%), other panel products (+8.1%) and “other” solid wood products (+16.3%). However, there was a drop in shipments of logs (-11.6%), selected value added wood products (-2.5%) and cedar shakes and shingles (-19.9%).

Exports of metallic mineral products expanded 12.8% year-to-date to September. Shipments of copper ores and concentrates, which comprise almost half of B.C.’s metallic mineral product exports, climbed 6.9%. There were also significant increases in shipments of unwrought aluminum (+15.6%), unwrought zinc (+17.8%) and molybdenum ores and concentrates (+43.8%).

There was strong growth in exports of machinery and equipment (+12.3%), led by substantial boosts in shipments of motor vehicles and parts (+74.5%) and aircraft and parts (+42.2%). Other commodities that recorded robust export growth included fabricated metal products (+10.6%), agriculture and food products (+9.0%) and fish (+10.3%).

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 inched down 0.9% in September as significant declines in shipments of metal and non-metallic mineral products (-16.9%) and metal ores and non-metallic minerals (-16.2%) more than offset a 10.5% boost in exports of energy products.

The drop was entirely due to a reduction in shipments to the United States (-5.6%) as exports to the rest of the world rose 4.3%. A 26.0% plunge in the value of metal and non-metallic mineral product shipments was the primary driver of the drop in exports to the United States, while a 17.5% jump in the value of energy product exports was the main contributor to the rise in shipments to the rest of the world.

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