Published On: Wednesday, 27 September 2017

British Columbia's Sees Export Growth in 2016

British Columbia's Sees Export Growth in 2016

BC - According to the BC Check-Up, an annual economic report released by the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC), B.C.’s exports to international markets increased by 8.6 per cent to reach $39.0 billion in 2016.

The increase in export values was largely led by a 28.2 per cent gain in the value of energy products, which includes natural gas, coal, and electricity. After a dip in 2015, coal exports picked up as prices improved towards the latter half of 2016.

The trend continued into the first half of 2017, with the value of coal exports reaching $3.6 billion at the end of June 2017, or 163 per cent over the value achieved during the same time last year. Overall energy exports also continued to increase, reaching a value of $5.8 billion by the end of June 2017 and accounting for over a quarter of total international exports.

“Stronger commodity prices in the latter half of 2016 also led to an increase in the total export value of metallic mineral products, which reached $4.8 billion,” says Lori Mathison, FCPA, FCGA, LLB, president and CEO of CPABC.

“Mining activity in the province’s interior picked up, as mines either re-opened or began mining operations. This increased activity helped to offset a decline in the export value of pulp and paper products. “

The report found that the value of wood product exports also increased by 19.2 per cent to reach $10.0 billion in 2016, due to a favourable Canadian dollar and increased U.S. housing starts. However, while exports of B.C.’s wood products have held steady up till the end of June 2017, the current wildfire situation and uncertainties over trade negotiation outcomes will likely impact wood product exports over the next few months.

“Our economy is largely dependent on the export of commodities. B.C.’s exports account for almost one-fourth of provincial GDP. It is important that we continue to improve our trade relationships with long-term partners and diversify by building new ones,” continued Mathison.

“Currently, just over half of our exports go to the United States and over one-third are destined for Asia, making B.C. less vulnerable than other Canadian jurisdictions to any changes in the US trade relationship.”