Issue 19-127 Exports

August 2, 2019

By Destination

The value of B.C. origin exports declined 2.0% over the first two quarters of 2019, compared to the same six-month period a year earlier. This was due in part to a 1.5% decrease in shipments to B.C.’s largest customer, the United States. There were also notable dips in exports to Japan (-16.1%) and Hong Kong (-29.5%). The slowdown in exports to these countries was moderated by increases in shipments to other trading partners, including the European Union (+2.0%), Mainland China (+2.9%), and India (+24.0%).

By Commodity

The value of B.C.’s energy product exports climbed 9.1% in the first half of 2019. Electricity exports slumped 10.9% over the same period of 2018, but coal shipments inched up 0.2%, natural gas jumped 29.0% and other energy product exports were 34.4% higher. In the case of natural gas, the increase was entirely due to higher prices, as the volume of gas shipped declined 1.9%.

Exports of metallic mineral products slipped 8.5% year-to-date to June. Copper ores and concentrates, which make up close to half of all metallic mineral product shipments from the province, declined 4.7%.

Shipments of solid wood products fell 15.7% in the first two quarters of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. There were declines in exports of softwood lumber (-19.5%), plywood and veneer (-17.5%), other panel products
(-16.7%), logs (-9.4%), cedar shakes and shingles (-8.3%), and other solid wood products (-3.8%). On the other hand, selected value-added wood products (+9.9%) experienced a rise in shipments.

Elsewhere in the forest sector, pulp and paper exports decreased 10.1%. Shipments of newsprint jumped 27.4%, while other paper and paperboard (-2.9%) and pulp (-12.9%) have seen declines.

B.C.’s exports of machinery and equipment climbed 5.9% year-to-date, including an 18.2% jump in shipments of motor vehicles and parts.

Exports of agriculture and food products grew 20.5% in the first half of the year compared to the same six months of 2018, while fish product shipments decreased 4.4%. There was also a slip in shipments of fabricated metal products
(-6.4%), while exports of chemicals and chemical products expanded (+9.1%).

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 was down 3.1% in June, driven largely by a substantial decrease in shipments of metal ores and non-metallic minerals (-30.6%), as well as a decline in exports of logs, lumber and other wood products (-7.8%).

Exports to the U.S. inched down 0.8%, while shipments to the rest of the world slowed 5.1%. Much of the decrease in exports to the U.S. was due to significant declines in shipments of forestry products and building and packaging materials (-9.7%), which mostly outweighed a notable increase in shipments of energy products (+15.1%). Meanwhile, metal ores and non-metallic minerals (-32.0%) and metal and non-metallic mineral products (-22.6%) played a large role in the overall decline in exports to the rest of the world.

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