VANCOUVER and VICTORIA, B.C.—Canada’s export credit agency says British Columbia’s international exports are poised to vault to the top of the growth charts over the next two years.
In its export forecast for the province, Export Development Canada (EDC) said huge increases in B.C.’s global exports in 2013 and 2014 will push it to the top of the pile.
Delivering the forecast in back-to-back speeches in Victoria, B.C., and Vancouver, EDC chief economist Peter Hall predicted the province’s exports will grow by 11 per cent this year, followed by another 12 per cent in 2014.
“British Columbia’s exports are on track for a vibrant expansion, sharing top spot among the provinces with Nova Scotia,” Hall said. “B.C. is enjoying an exceptional recovery in forestry and very strong gains in ores and metals. Following recent ups-and-downs, B.C. is in an international sales sweet spot this year and next.”
The forestry sector accounts for approximately 32 per cent of the province’s international sales, the largest share of B.C.s total.
Hall predicted that provincial exports of forestry products will grow by 25 per cent in 2013 and another 17 per cent in 2014, this after only two per cent growth in 2012.
“Forestry exports are set to experience impressive growth, with demand and prices for lumber driven upwards by rising U.S. housing starts that are expected to expand by 34 per cent in 2013 and 24 per cent in 2014. Those are big numbers,” Hall said.
“The recovery of China’s construction sector will also add momentum. Looking forward, though, supply constraints will start to emerge after 2014, suggesting potential for significant investment in lumber capacity.”
The energy sector is also an important contributor to the province’s export picture, accounting for 27 per cent of total international sales.
EDC’s forecast predicts a four per cent decline this year, ahead of 10 per cent growth in 2014.
The forecast also noted that the recovery in the United States will mean solid growth for the province’s machinery and equipment producers and agri-food sales through 2014.
Nationally, Canadian merchandise exports are forecast to rise nine per cent in 2013 and five per cent in 2014, while economic growth (GDP) is expected to rise 2.2 per cent this year and 1.9 next year.
EDC is forecasting global growth of 3.5 per cent in 2013 and 4.2 per cent in 2014.