B.C. export growth best in country in 2012, predicts Export Development Canada

VANCOUVER, Nov. 15, 2011 /CNW/ - British Columbia's exports are forecast to grow 13 per cent in 2012, the highest rate of growth among all provinces, according to a Global Export Forecast by Export Development Canada (EDC).

"Continued strong demand from China and rapidly-growing Asian economies will benefit British Columbia's export sector, which will expand at double-digit pace again in 2012," said Peter Hall, Chief Economist for EDC. "Exports to Asia now represent over 40% of the province's exports, and are expanding in excess of 25% this year."

Hall was in Vancouver today to share his forecast with EDC customers, the fourth stop on a 10-city cross-Canada tour.

"Weaker commodity prices won't be enough to restrain export growth in 2012," added Mr. Hall. Higher shipments of coal, copper and wood products will spur the province's three main export industries. Lumber shipments will benefit from a reawakening of US homebuilding.

The province's international exports are led by three key industries:

  • Forestry, accounting for 20 per cent of the province's total exports;
  • Energy, accounting for 20 per cent; and
  • Industrial Goods, accounting for 16 per cent.

British Columbia's forestry exports are forecast to grow by an impressive 26 per cent in 2012.

"The resurgence in U.S. housing starts has delayed the rebound in B.C.'s wood product exports until 2012.  However, exports to the Chinese market have doubled again in 2011 and will expand at a double-digit pace next year. With the planned construction of 8 million social housing units in China in 2012, and the beginnings of a U.S. housing rebound, the province's forestry exports should see a substantial boost in 2012."

British Columbia's exports of energy are forecast to ease to 10 per cent growth in 2012 after an expected 32 per cent increase in 2011, driven by higher prices for coal and increased natural gas output from the Montney shale gas field.

"Demand from Japan, Canada's traditional top coal export market, should strengthen in 2012 as reconstruction efforts get underway. Coal exports will also benefit in the longer term from greater production capacity and new mining developments already underway."

"With a number of mining projects at various stages of development or expansion, exports of industrial goods from B.C. should expand 2 per cent next year, falling well short of the 18 per cent surge in 2011."

Canadian exports of goods and services are forecast to rise 11 per cent in 2011 and 7 per cent in 2012. Nationally, economic growth is expected to rise 2.3 per cent in 2011 and 2.4 per cent in 2012. EDC is forecasting global growth of 3.7 per cent in 2011 and 4.3 per cent in 2012.

EDC's semi-annual Global Export Forecast addresses the latest global export conditions including perspectives on interest rates, exchange rates as well as export strategies to help Canadian companies minimize risk. It also analyzes a range of risks for which exporters should be prepared. EDC's Global Export Forecast is available at http://www.edc.ca/gef.

B-Roll footage of Peter Hall's forecast comments available at: http://Exportwise.ca/listvideo_en.

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 8,200 Canadian companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year. EDC is financially self-sustaining and a recognized leader in financial reporting and economic analysis.

SOURCE Export Development Canada

For further information:

Media contacts:
Phil Taylor
Export Development Canada
Tel: 613.598.2904
BlackBerry: ptaylor@edc.ca


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