Saskatchewan's exports can expect big drop in 2009, says EDC



    SASKATOON, SK, May 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Saskatchewan's exports are forecast
to decline by 37 per cent in 2009 before rebounding by 14 per cent in 2010,
according to a provincial export outlook by Export Development Canada (EDC).
    "Having benefited strongly from buoyant commodity prices, Saskatchewan's
exports are swiftly shifting gear," said Peter Hall, Chief Economist of EDC.
    "While Saskatchewan boasts a well diversified commodity base, the
province faces a near-term squeeze on its foreign sales. This is owing to the
synchronized price correction in play across commodities everywhere, but also
as a function of intentional curtailing of production in the province."
    Saskatchewan's energy sector exports, accounting for 40 per cent of the
province's exports overall, are forecast to drop by 46 per cent in 2009 before
rebounding with a price-induced lift of 16 per cent in 2010.
    Weak pricing in oil markets will be compounded by a 3 per cent decline in
the province's production output in 2009, and EDC expects volumes to be flat
in 2010. As oil and gas exploration loses steam and drilling activity shrinks
at double-digit rates, the forecast for medium-term production is increasingly
subdued.
    The agrifood sector accounts for 31 per cent of the province's overall
export picture, and is expected to decline by 22 per cent in 2009 before
rebounding by 7 per cent in 2010.
    While exports of this season's large wheat crop are set to remain strong
through mid-year, the increase in volumes will not offset an estimated 36 per
cent year-over-year price decline.
    Weak global feed demand and the associated price incentive for farmers
are likely to reduce new plantings of the grain, limiting a potential increase
in exports into 2010. The record canola supplies of 2008/2009 will not offset
the dampening effects of weak pricing in 2009, but modest gains in both export
volumes and prices are expected to boost exports by 12 per cent in 2010.
    Depressed consumer demand for red meats and the implementation of
Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling in the US will lead to both pricing and
volume weakness in Saskatchewan's livestock industry. Cattle herd reductions
have been more pronounced in Saskatchewan that than in neighbouring provinces.
    The recent reopening of the Jordanian and Saudi markets to Canadian beef
could offer a glimmer of improved demand moving forward.
    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: Media contact: Phil Taylor, Export Development
Canada, (613) 598-2904, Blackberry: ptaylor@edc.ca


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