PEI exports to rebound in 2007 before moderating in 2008, says EDC



    OTTAWA, Nov. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The value of international exports from
Prince Edward Island is forecast to rebound by 5 per cent in 2007 before
moderating to growth of 2 per cent in 2008, according to a provincial export
outlook by Export Development Canada (EDC).
    "The softer outlook in 2008 is mainly due to weaker lobster and frozen
potato exports, partially offset by continued strength in aerospace and
pharmaceutical exports," said Stephen Poloz, Senior Vice-President of
Corporate Affairs and Chief Economist.
    Two thirds of the Island's exports come from the agri-food sector which,
in turn, is dominated by potato and lobster exports. Frozen potato products
(french fries) account for 70 per cent of the value of the Island's potato
exports, or 25 per cent of the province's total exports. Frozen potato exports
are expected to increase 20 per cent in 2007, benefiting from a poor 2006
potato crop in Europe and solid U.S. demand. Exports of frozen fries to the US
are expected to remain on an upward trend despite a widely expected slowdown
in the US economy. Looking forward, the 2007 potato crop in Europe has been
good despite minor flood losses in the UK, which is expected to exert some
downward price pressure in non-US markets, leading to a more modest 5 per cent
increase in export growth in 2008. In the long term, PEI exporters are
continuing to make inroads into emerging markets such as Saudi Arabia, China
and the United Arab Emirates.
    The Island's lobster fishery accounts for over 60 per cent of total
fishing exports. Lobster exports are set to decline in 2007 as lobster
landings were abnormally high in 2006 and cold waters in the spring of 2007
reduced early lobster landings by 10 per cent. However, east coast lobster
landings in the U.S. were also down this year, leading to a tight
supply-demand balance. While PEI's fresh lobster shipments are expected to
remain steady, frozen lobster will see lower export levels in 2007 as European
countries, with the exception of France and Norway, have significantly reduced
their purchases. Nevertheless, fishing exports are expected to rise a modest
2.8 per cent in 2007, as significant increases in exports of mussels and
frozen crab more than offset the decline in lobster shipments. EDC expects
fishing exports to fall by 4 per cent in 2008 based on a less favourable
pricing environment and sluggish U.S. consumer spending.
    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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