Issue 18-65 Exports

April 6, 2018

By Destination

Year-to-date to February, the value of B.C. origin exports climbed 3.3%, despite a 5.5% decline in shipments to B.C.’s largest trading partner, the United States, as well as a 5.5% drop in exports to the European Union. There was strong growth in shipments to Mainland China (+5.3%), Japan (+2.4%), South Korea (+4.7%) and exports to India skyrocketed (+625.8%).

By Commodity

There was a 21.7% jump in shipments of metallic mineral products in the first two months of 2018, compared to the same period a year earlier. Shipments of copper ores and concentrates, which comprise around half of B.C.’s metallic mineral product exports, expanded 23.5%. There was also robust growth in shipments of unwrought aluminum (+23.6%) and unwrought zinc (+26.1%).

Exports March 2018

Source: Statistics Canada / Prepared by BC Stats

In the forest sector, there was strong growth in exports of pulp and paper products (+21.6%), driven largely by a 27.8% jump in shipments of pulp. However, exports of solid wood products fell 12.4% year-to-date to February. A 19.2% slump in shipments of softwood lumber drove much of the drop, but there were also declines in exports of selected value added wood products (-12.3%) and cedar shakes and shingles (-6.4%). Mitigating some of those decreases were rising exports of softwood plywood and veneer (+18.5%) and other panel products (+11.2%), as well as a marginal increase in shipments of logs (+0.1%) and growth in exports of other solid wood products (+5.6%).

The value of energy product exports climbed 2.8% in the January to February period, compared to the same two months in 2017. A 14.3% boost in the value of coal shipments drove much of the overall increase, although exports of natural gas also increased in value (+3.3%). The overall growth in energy exports was moderated by a 43.3% drop in exports of electricity and a 31.3% slump in other energy product shipments.

B.C.’s exports of machinery and equipment grew 2.8% year-to-date to February, despite a 5.3% drop in shipments of motor vehicles and parts, and a 24.7% decrease in exports of aircraft and parts. There was a 17.7% jump in shipments of electrical, electronic and communications equipment, as well as small increases in exports of scientific, photographic and measuring equipment (+1.4%) and other machinery and equipment (+5.3%), which offset the declines elsewhere.

There was robust growth in exports of fabricated metal products (+12.4%) year-to-date to February. Shipments of chemicals and chemical products also increased (+3.1%). Exports of agriculture and food were up 2.0%; however, shipments of fish products fell 5.3%.

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.

There was a 3.8% fall in the value of B.C.’s commodity exports in February as an 11.3% slump in shipments to the United States more than wiped out a 3.9% gain in exports to the rest of the world. An 18.8% drop in exports of energy products was the main driver of the overall decline, although a 12.5% decrease in shipments of metal ores and non-metallic minerals also contributed to the fall in value.

Energy products were also the main driver of the slump in exports to the United States, with shipments falling 47.1%. A 2.9% dip in the value of forestry products and building and packaging materials played a smaller role in the decreased exports to the United States, but was still significant. For shipments to the rest of the world, strong growth in exports of energy products (+6.8%), metal and non-metallic mineral products (+37.5%) and forestry products and building and packaging materials (+3.9%) more than offset sharp declines in shipments of metal ores and non-metallic minerals (-10.9%) and electronic and electrical equipment and parts  (-24.7%).

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