New Brunswick's exports in 2009, says EDC



    FREDERICTON, NB, May 22 /CNW Telbec/ - New Brunswick's international
exports are forecast to tumble by 27 per cent in 2009 before rebounding
strongly by 23 per cent in 2010, according to a provincial export outlook by
Export Development Canada (EDC).
    "With energy accounting for two-thirds of total exports, the plunge in
energy prices and delays in the beginning of operations at the LNG terminal in
Saint John weigh heavily on the bottom line this year," said Peter Hall, Chief
Economist of EDC.
    "Sales to the U.S. will continue to wane across the board, but future
capacity expansions in the province bode well for the longer term outlook,
including a potash mine in Sussex, and a second oil refinery in Saint John."
    The energy sector accounts for 68 per cent of the province's total export
picture. EDC expects the province's energy exports will fall 31 per cent in
2009, as crude prices collapse from an average USD100/brl in 2008 to a
forecast USD 47/brl in 2009.
    The start-up of operations at the LNG terminal in Saint John by mid-year
will soften some of the energy sector's challenges brought on by the plunge in
prices. The resulting gain in natural gas exports is expected to provide a
boost to volumes in the second half of 2009 and into 2010.
    The refurbishment of the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant will be
completed too late in the year to boost falling electricity exports in 2009,
but could lead to an increase in 2010.
    Overall, energy exports will rise 34 per cent in 2010, mostly from the
first full-year of production at the LNG terminal.
    The forestry sector in New Brunswick accounts for 11 per cent of the
province's total exports, and EDC expects declines of 10 and 2 per cent in
2009 and 2010, respectively.
    While numerous sawmills have already exited the market, continued
shutdowns are on the horizon in New Brunswick. The ailing US housing sector
will see lumber and wood products exports decline by 14 per cent this year
after a 35 per cent drop in 2008.
    In the pulp segment, capacity expansions were undertaken in Atholville
(AV Cell) and Nackawic (AV Nackawic) between the summer of 2008 and winter of
2009 to allow the mills to produce dissolving pulp used in the garment
industry. However, weak demand from India and Indonesia, the primary export
destinations for this specialty pulp, is forcing production cutbacks. EDC
expects pulp exports will drop by 17 per cent in 2009 and post a more moderate
decline of 2 per cent in 2010.
    Paper exports are also expected to decline in 2009 due to weak demand in
the US, as more newspapers feel the brunt of the recession. Newsprint and
paper exports are expected to fall by 1 per cent in 2009, despite the weaker
Canadian dollar. In 2010, exports will fall by a more aggressive 7 per cent as
the market continues to adjust to the shift toward online-based publications.
    Canadian exports are forecast to decline by 22.2 per cent in 2009 before
rebounding by 7.4 per cent in 2010. Nationally, economic growth is expected to
decline by 2 per cent in 2009 with a slight increase of 1.7 per cent in 2010.
Internationally, EDC is forecasting a 1.3 per cent decline in 2009 and 2.3 per
cent increase in 2010 in global GDP. 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 more than 8,300
Canadian companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide
each year. EDC is financially self-sustaining, a recognized leader in
financial reporting and economic analysis, and has been recognized as one of
Canada's Top 100 Employers for eight consecutive years.




For further information:

For further information: Phil Taylor, Export Development Canada, (613)
598-2904, Blackberry: ptaylor@edc.ca


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