Saskatchewan set to lead country in export growth in 2008, says EDC



    OTTAWA, Nov. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Saskatchewan has maintained strong export
growth of 14.7 per cent in 2007, according to a provincial export outlook by
Export Development Canada (EDC). The EDC forecast expects Saskatchewan to lead
the country in 2008, with 11.7 per cent in export growth in 2008.
    "While a global economic slowdown is going to see Canada's export growth
fall by half next year, we expect Saskatchewan to buck that trend with strong
performance," said Stephen Poloz, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Affairs
and Chief Economist. "Saskatchewan is going to be Canada's top export
performer during a year we expect to be difficult for many exporters."
    Saskatchewan exports will benefit from the lifting of U.S. import
restrictions on cattle and beef, greater potash production, and continuing
strong crop prices. The agri-food sector will have great export potential over
the next few years as demand for crops used in ethanol production remains
strong. The province also continues to expand its seeded acreage which will
expand export capabilities.
    With farmers increasing acreage around the world as a result of strong
global demand for crops and the bio-fuel boom, growth in Saskatchewan's
exports of agricultural machinery is expected to reach 8 to 10 per cent in
2007, while fertilizer exports are expected to rise by 33 per cent this year.
More modest gains of 5 per cent for agricultural machinery and 11 per cent are
forecast for 2008.
    Crude petroleum exports have been weak so far in 2007, with a decrease of
25 per cent to date compared to 2006. Petroleum Association of Canada
forecasts indicate drilling activity will remain sluggish at the national
level and remain flat in Saskatchewan, resulting in a 9 per cent decrease in
2007, rebound to 5 per cent growth in 2008.
    Exports of lumber and wood manufacturing equipment are significantly down
by 16 per cent in 2007 as a result of turbulence in the U.S. housing market.
While weakness in wood exports will continue through 2008, a partial rebound
of 7 per cent in exports is forecast.
    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: Phil Taylor, EDC Public Affairs, (613)
598-2904, ptaylor@edc.ca


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