Nova Scotia exports to grow through 2008, says EDC



    HALIFAX, Nov. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Nova Scotia's exports are forecast to
grow by 7 per cent in 2007 and by a more modest 3 per cent in 2008, according
to a provincial export outlook by Export Development Canada (EDC).
    "Nova Scotia's international exports recovered somewhat this year, and
should post a further modest gain in 2008," said Stephen Poloz, Senior
Vice-President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Economist. "The province's
exports will be supported by growth in sectors like food and beverage, pulp
processing, rubber and plastics and some machinery equipment manufacturing.
However, the province's large seafood industry is not expected to show any
export gains through the coming year."
    The agri-food sector accounts for 25 per cent of the province's export
picture. Higher seafood prices this year have helped buffer the effects of
lower landings. Higher crab prices have been the highlight, up 20 to 30 per
cent in the first half of 2007. Lobster exports are expected to drop slightly
this year on slightly lower catches, but EDC expects earlier weakness in the
year to dissipate through the final months of 2007. In 2008, slightly lower
prices for crab, lobster and salmon, and lower overall landings, will result
in lower seafood earnings. Shrimp prices should remain steady.
    The energy sector, representing 20.2 per cent of the province's exports,
will see sustained growth of 14.9 per cent in 2007 and 10.9 per cent in 2008.
Natural gas production at the Sable offshore energy facility is expected to
ramp up in the second half of this year after commissioning delays following
the installation of the compression deck platform. The ramp-up will result in
natural gas export growth of 17 per cent in 2007 and 12 per cent in 2008.
While stronger gas shipments contributed to export growth this year, rising
natural gas prices and a weaker Canadian dollar will boost export earnings
next year. The price for natural gas is forecast to average US$7.0/mmbtu in
2007 before increasing to US$7.5/mmbtu in 2008.
    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: Phil Taylor, EDC Public Affairs, (613)
598-2904, ptaylor@edc.ca


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