Ontario's exports to finally see growth by end of 2010, says EDC

OTTAWA, Nov. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Ontario provincial exports will experience 8 per cent growth in 2010 after four years of decline, according to a provincial export outlook by Export Development Canada (EDC).

"The freeze in credit markets and the ensuing consumer spending collapse has kept Ontario's manufacturing core in the cold," said Peter Hall, Chief Economist at EDC. "EDC expects that 2010's export growth will be largely driven by an easing of credit conditions, a partial recovery in the auto sector and, to a lesser extent, higher prices and demand for base metals and industrial chemicals."

Mr. Hall also noted that the makeup of the province's exports has changed dramatically as a result of the auto sector's challenges. "There has been a dramatic shift in the makeup of the province's export economy. Just four years ago, the auto sector accounted for over 40 per cent of total exports. However, after double-digit declines last year and expected again this year, that share will fall to less than 32 per cent."

"In 2010, a gradual strengthening of demand, combined with flat prices, will result in export growth of 13 per cent for the auto sector, but still leaving the export sector almost 40 per cent smaller than it was in 2007," Mr. Hall added.

The industrial goods sector has now surpassed the auto sector for the largest export industry in Ontario, accounting for 33.1 per cent of the province's total. Exports of industrial goods are expected to grow by 9 per cent in 2010.

The export outlook for metals and ores, the prominent sub sector in Ontario's industrial goods picture, will differ significantly by product. Production cuts at Vale Inco's Sudbury operation this year will have a material impact on exports of nickel and other by-products. Declines will be offset, however, by much higher prices and output at provincial gold mines. Similarly, weak demand for steel products will be partially offset by very strong demand for iron ore, particularly from European and Asian markets. Overall, exports of metals and ores are expected to rebound by 12 per cent owing to recovering demand in developed markets.

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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