Manitoba's exports to edge up by 1 per cent in 2010, says EDC

OTTAWA, Nov. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Manitoba's international exports are forecast to grow by 1 per cent in 2010 after dropping by 17 per cent in 2009, according to a provincial export outlook by Export Development Canada (EDC).

"Lingering challenges facing metals and livestock producers, coupled with a softer outlook for crops exports, underpin the lacklustre overall performance expected in 2010," said Peter Hall, Chief Economist, EDC. "With limited upside from the province's main export sectors, export growth will be limited to 1 per cent next year, sustained by the province's niche bus and aerospace sectors, along with higher energy prices."

The largest export sector in the province is agrifood, which accounts for 37 per cent of Manitoba's international exports. EDC forecasts the sector's exports to remain flat in 2010. Beneath the deteriorating outlook for the agri-food sector lie expectations of steep reductions in livestock and meat exports, and a reversal in crop production.

"From a penny-pinching consumer, to the H1N1 virus, to the protectionist effects of COOL, the province's sales of pork and hogs will shrink considerably over 2009-2010. The shocks to public perception of pork dealt by H1N1, however, are likely to fade into 2010, and U.S. households should steadily begin loosening their purse strings at the meat counter," said Mr. Hall.

EDC notes that sustained herd size reductions will prevent export volumes from returning to positive territory before 2011. EDC expects prices to provide some lift, as excess global supply is reduced, and expects that the outcome of Canada's WTO challenge of COOL will play an important part in determining the future direction of the sub-sector.

"Double-digit declines in Manitoba's 2009/2010 wheat, canola, and barley harvests dim the outlook for grain and oilseed exports. With adverse weather during much of the growing season cutting into yields, it will be up to carry-over stocks from last season's bumper crop to limit export declines in 2010," Mr. Hall said.

The province's second largest export sector is industrial goods, accounting for 25 per cent of Manitoba's total. "Our call for a 39 per cent drop in exports of base metals in 2009 and a further 5 per in 2010 is shaped by sharply lower prices this year and production declines through the forecast horizon. Output reductions and suspensions are the root cause, and weak demand from the global construction and auto industries doesn't bode well for prices," said Mr. Hall.

Canadian exports are forecast to contract 23 per cent in 2009 before rebounding 6 per cent in 2010. Nationally, economic growth is expected to fall by 2.3 per cent in 2009 with an upturn to 1.9 per cent in 2010. Internationally, EDC is forecasting a decline of 1.3 per cent in 2009 and 2.9 per cent growth in 2010. 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 named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for nine consecutive years.

SOURCE Export Development Canada

For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Phil Taylor, Export Development Canada, Tel: (613) 598-2904, BlackBerry: ptaylor@edc.ca


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