Quebec's exports flat through 2010, says EDC

    MONTREAL, May 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Quebec's exports are forecast to decline
by 15 per cent in 2009 before rising modestly by 2 per cent in 2010, according
to a provincial export outlook by Export Development Canada (EDC).
    "While the weaker Canadian dollar may take away some of the sting, Quebec
exporters will still be bruised by the financial crisis, the bursting of the
US housing bubble, and plummeting commodity prices," said Peter Hall, Chief
Economist of EDC.
    The outlook for industrial goods, which accounts for 37 per cent of the
province's total export picture, is defined by tumbling commodity prices and
resulting mine, smelter, and mill closures and cutbacks.
    Most important to Quebec is the price of aluminium, which is projected to
average USD 1,900/tonne in 2009 after averaging over USD 2,500/tonne in 2008.
Almost all of Quebec's exports of aluminium go to the automotive and housing
industries in the U.S., both of which have been especially hard hit in the
    The chemicals industry, also extremely vulnerable to U.S. weakness, will
continue to struggle after experiencing accelerated decline towards the end of
2008. Overall, Quebec's industrial goods exports are forecast to drop by 28
per cent in 2009, before regaining a modest 10 per cent in 2010.
    "Our anticipated modest rebound in exports in 2010 is largely driven by a
recovery in the price of base metals and chemicals. Exports of certain types
of machinery and equipment will also rise, benefiting from the U.S. fiscal
stimulus. At the same time, a modest rebound in U.S. consumer demand will lift
shipments of automobiles and trucks."
    The forestry sector, accounting for 14 per cent of the province's total
exports, remains challenged and is expected to see foreign sales decline by 5
per cent in 2009. While U.S. housing starts may finally find a bottom in 2010,
newsprint volumes will continue to be weak, suggesting little pricing support
in the pulp segment. Overall, forestry sector exports are expected to contract
a further 3 per cent in 2010.
    The U.S. is the destination market for more than sixty percent of Quebec
aerospace exports, so weak U.S. demand will adversely impact the bottom line
going forward. While there remains a backlog of orders, softening demand that
began toward the end of last year will show up in weak deliveries through
2010. Exchange rate gains will see export receipts remain flat this year, but
this will mask a large double-digit drop in physical shipments. In 2010,
current cancellations will result in a 9 per cent drop in exports.
    Canadian exports are forecast to decline by 22 per cent in 2009 before
rebounding by 7 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

    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: Phil Taylor, Export Development Canada, (613)
598-2904, Blackberry:

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