Manitoba export growth to be among best in 2007 and 2008, says EDC



    OTTAWA, Nov. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Manitoba's export growth of 15.1 per cent
will be one of the country's best in 2007 according to a provincial export
outlook by Export Development Canada (EDC). The province's total exports are
expected to increase by a more moderate 7 per cent in 2008, second only to
Saskatchewan.
    "Gains in primary industries led the way to Manitoba's strong ranking in
2007," said Stephen Poloz, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Affairs and
Chief Economist. "Manitoba's outlook for 2008 is still positive, but the
impact of waning U.S. consumer demand and the strengthening of the Canadian
dollar will take its toll."
    Exports to non-U.S. destinations continue to be strong in 2007, led by
shipments of metals with major increases in sales to Japan, Taiwan and Hong
Kong.
    Bio-fuel demand has greatly bolstered the price of Manitoba's leading
crops. In 2007 export earnings of coarse grains, wheat and oilseed have
registered extremely impressive year-to-date gains of 41 per cent, 45 per cent
and 59 per cent respectively. The continued expansion of U.S. ethanol capacity
will apply upward pressure on coarse grains prices and volumes through the
balance of the year. Overall, major grain prices are poised to remain strong
with Manitoba exporters gaining from tight global supplies and firm demand.
Agri-food exports overall are expected to increase by 20 per cent, with growth
of 13 per cent forecast for 2008.
    The lifting of U.S. border restrictions should serve as a boon to the
province's cattle producers, but concerns remain over the strength of the hog
industry. Relatively weak prices for hogs and pork products in early 2007 led
to fragile growth in the industry while higher feed costs heavily impacted
producers. There appears to be an excess supply of hogs within the North
American market. The recent rejection of Canadian and U.S. pork shipments by
China has dashed hopes that market would pick-up on volumes, leaving producers
with a pork tonnage that overruns demand, in turn depressing prices.
    Nationally, Canadian economic growth is forecast to remain stable at
2.3 per cent in 2007, and 2.6 per cent in 2008. Key price gains in commodities
have put Canadian exports on track to increase by 3.7 per cent in 2007, but
the impact of weaker U.S. and global demand will have the export growth rate
more than halved to 1.5 per cent in 2008. Internationally, EDC is forecasting
a 4.9 per cent growth rate in 2007, and 4.5 per cent in 2008. EDC's Global
Export Forecast is available at http://www.edc.ca/gef.

    EDC is Canada's export credit agency, offering innovative commercial
solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international
business. EDC's knowledge and partnerships are used by 6,400 Canadian
companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year.
EDC is financially self-sustaining and is a recognized leader in financial
reporting, economic analysis and has been recognized as one of Canada's Top
100 Employers for seven consecutive years.




For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Phil Taylor, EDC Public Affairs,
(613) 598-2904, ptaylor@edc.ca


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