Nova Scotia's exports take big drop in 2009 amid fishery and energy price declines, says EDC



    HALIFAX, May 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Nova Scotia's exports will drop by 20 per
cent in 2009 before rising modestly by 2 per cent in 2010, according to a
provincial export outlook by Export Development Canada (EDC).
    "Nova Scotia's exports will be driven down by weaker demand for luxury
fishery products, a decreasing supply of natural gas, and production cut-backs
in the tire and newsprint industries," said Peter Hall, Chief Economist of
EDC.
    "More than three quarters of Nova Scotia's exports are destined for the
U.S., so the recession that is fully entrenched there now will hit Nova
Scotia's export sector hard."
    The agrifood sector accounts for 19 per cent of the province's total
export picture. Weak global demand will bear the greatest impact on Nova
Scotia's fisheries over the next two years. Given that the provinces'
traditional fishery products (lobster, crab, shrimp, and scallops) are
considered luxury foods, the recession hitting major export markets will
adversely impact their consumption.
    Driven mostly by lower demand and prices, EDC expects fisheries exports
to fall 21 per cent in 2009 before increasing by a marginal 1 per cent in
2010. As a result, EDC forecasts that agrifood exports overall will decrease
by 17 per cent in 2009 and rebound by 1 per cent in 2010.
    Nova Scotia's energy sector represents 29 per cent of the province's
exports overall. EDC expects that lower energy prices and reduced natural gas
production will drive energy exports down 47 per cent in 2009 before better
pricing conditions for crude and natural gas give a slight 1 per cent lift to
exports in 2010.
    Natural gas plays a significant part in Nova Scotia's energy sector. The
Sable project will face decreasing production levels through 2010, and the
positive effects of a lower Canadian dollar will not be enough to offset
declines in production and market prices.
    Decreasing production and the lack of new exploration are the main
challenges to the sector's export growth. On a positive note, the off-shore
Deep Panuke project is on track to begin production by the end of 2010. This
project is expected to add 8.5mn m3/d to natural gas production in 2011.
    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, ptaylor@edc.ca


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