Issue 19-92 Exports
June 6, 2019
Through the first four months of 2019, B.C. origin exports dipped 1.4% compared to the same four-month period a year earlier. This is despite the fact that exports increased to B.C.’s two largest markets, the United States (+1.3%) and Mainland China (+6.7%). There was a substantial decline in shipments to a number of Asian destinations, including Japan (‑21.1%), South Korea (-17.1%), and Hong Kong (‑31.1%). Exports to the EU also fell significantly (-5.1%). On the flip side, there was a sizeable jump in shipments to India (+50.6%).
B.C.’s shipments of solid wood products fell 10.3% year-to-date to April. Among the major wood categories, only exports of selected value-added wood products saw an increase in exports, rising 6.5%. Shipments of softwood lumber (-10.4%), logs (-13.2%), softwood plywood and veneer (-15.2%), other panel products (-20.6%), cedar shakes and shingles (-16.9%) and other solid wood products (-0.4%) all declined.
Elsewhere in the forest sector, there was also a decrease in exports of pulp and paper products (-2.3%). Most of the drop was due to a 4.1% reduction in shipments of pulp, as exports of newsprint (+19.8%) and other paper and paperboard (+3.8%) increased. However, there was also a decline in shipments of all other pulp and paper products.
There was a 14.8% slump in exports of metallic mineral products year-to-date to April, compared to January to April in 2018. Exports of copper ores and concentrates plunged 20.0%, accounting for most of the overall drop; however, there were also reductions in shipments of unwrought aluminum (-7.7%), unwrought zinc (-19.0%), unwrought lead (‑21.7%) and molybdenum ores and concentrates (-6.0%). In contrast, exports of zinc ores and concentrates, although still relatively small, jumped 417.1% and shipments of all other metallic mineral products climbed 31.1%.
B.C.’s exports of unwrought aluminum, which were starting to trend down in the face of U.S. tariffs, could turn around as those tariffs have been lifted.
Source: Statistics Canada / Prepared by BC Stats
The value of B.C.’s exports of energy products increased 5.3% in the first four months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. Much of the growth was driven by a 31.7% boost in the value of natural gas shipments, which was entirely due to a price increase, as volumes of gas exported fell 4.6%. Similarly, while exports of electricity climbed 11.8% in value, there was actually a substantial 45.6% drop in volumes transmitted across the border. The value of coal shipments bucked the overall trend, falling 3.7%, while exports of all other energy products increased 4.0%.
There was a significant jump in exports of agriculture and food products (+21.7%); however, shipments of fish and other seafood products fell 6.8%. Other commodities that saw robust increases in exports included machinery and equipment (+7.4%) and chemicals and chemical products (+10.9%).
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 slumped 7.4% in April, mainly as a result of a 23.9% drop in shipments of energy products. Exports fell to both the United States (-1.4%) and the rest of the world (-13.0%).
A 23.7% decline in shipments of energy products was the primary driver for the reduction in exports to the U.S., more than offsetting significant increases in shipments of metal and non-metallic mineral products (+13.8%) and forestry products and building and packaging materials (+3.8%). Energy was also one of the main reasons for the decline in shipments to the rest of the world, with exports of energy products falling 24.0%; however, there were also substantial reductions in shipments of metal ores and non-metallic minerals (-23.2%) and metal and non-metallic mineral products (-31.2%).
Please visit the Exports pages for more information.