Issue 18-206 Exports

December 6, 2018

By Destination

The value of B.C. origin exports climbed 7.4% over the first ten months of 2018, compared to the same period a year earlier. Shipments to the U.S. rose 3.4%, while exports to Mainland China grew 8.8%. There was also strong growth in shipments to Japan (+12.3%), the EU (+14.5%), India (+64.0%) and Taiwan (+31.6%). However, exports to South Korea fell 6.9%.

B.C.'s exports to Japan are trending up

Exports to Japan from B.C.

Source: Statistics Canada/Prepared by BC Stats

By Commodity

Year-to-date to October, B.C.’s exports of solid wood products increased 2.0% compared to the same ten-month period in 2017. Exports of softwood lumber (+1.7%), softwood plywood and veneer (+20.0%), other panel products (+8.0%) and “other” solid wood products (+19.1%) all recorded growth, while shipments of cedar shakes and shingles (-21.0%), selected value added wood products (-3.2%) and logs (-8.4%) all declined.

Elsewhere in the forest sector, there was a substantial increase in shipments of pulp and paper products (+24.8%). Exports of pulp (+29.0%), newsprint (+16.1%) and other paper and paperboard (+19.3%) all saw robust growth; however, shipments of other pulp and paper products fell 19.7%.

B.C.’s exports of energy products dipped 0.8% in the first ten months of 2018 compared to the January to October period in 2017. The value of natural gas shipments fell 16.6%, which was entirely due to a drop in prices as the volume of gas exported rose 7.5%. There was also a drop in the value of electricity exported (-11.0%), although higher prices prevented an even steeper decline as the quantity of electricity transmitted over the border fell 36.9%. On the positive side, exports of coal (+4.9%) and other energy products (+13.8%) increased in value.

There was an 11.3% rise in exports of metallic mineral products in the January to October period of 2018 compared to the same ten-month period a year earlier. Copper ores and concentrates, which comprise almost half of B.C.’s metallic mineral product exports, recorded an 8.0% boost in shipments. There was even stronger growth in exports of unwrought aluminum (+15.5%), unwrought zinc (+13.0%) and molybdenum ores and concentrates (+43.9%). Shipments of unwrought lead bucked the overall trend, falling 32.9%; however, exports of all other metallic mineral products jumped 128.0%.

B.C.’s international shipments of machinery and equipment recorded robust growth of 12.6%, led by a 71.5% surge in exports of motor vehicles and parts and a 45.3% jump in shipments of aircraft and parts.

Exports of agriculture and food products climbed 9.1%, while fish product exports increased 10.2%. There was also strong growth in shipments of fabricated metal products (+10.4%) and plastics and articles of plastic (+19.8%), and exports of chemicals and chemical products edged up 0.8%.

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 2.4% in October, with significant declines in shipments of forestry products and building and packaging materials (-3.6%), energy products (-3.3%) and aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts (-42.0%) more than offset a substantial jump in exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals (+17.2%).

All the reduction was in shipments to the United States (-6.1%) as exports to the rest of the world climbed 1.1%. The most significant contributor to the drop in shipments to the U.S. was a 9.8% drop in exports of forestry products and building and packaging materials. A 22.8% surge in shipments of metal ores and non-metallic minerals was the primary driver of the increase in exports to the rest of the world.

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