Quebec’s exports up, imports down
According to Stats Quebec, provincial exports increased and imports decreased in August, 2014. Quebec’s exports surged 10.2%, but Canada-wide exports decreased 1.9% during the same eight months.
Of the 25 major product groups exported by Quebec, 14 led the way in August. Aircraft saw a large increase, followed by heavy fuel oils and aluminum and its alloys. All three groups had posted negative results in the previous month. “Pharmaceutical and medicinal products, wood pulp and fresh and frozen pork recorded the steepest drops this August,” reported Stats Quebec. In August Russia banned Canadian pork products, after the Harper government had cut off many Russian exports.
Canada’s pork industry tried to shift exports towards Asia, but general exports to Asia dropped by 13.4%, affecting only 8.1% of Quebec exports. Turbines and turbine generators, aircraft, and newsprint posted the most significant increases, while iron ores and concentrates and machinery recorded the sharpest decline.
The United States remains the main destination for Quebec’s exports. In August, non-seasonally adjusted exports to the United States increased by 10.1% and their relative share among Quebec exports stood at 71.5%. Most export products showed increased, but softwood lumber, electricity, and paper (except newsprint) fell sharply.
Exports to Europe dropped by 17.7%, with 9.9% of Quebec’s exports going there. Declining were aluminum, aluminum alloys, plus iron ores and concentrates. The largest increases were in lubricants, petroleum products, other metal ores and concentrates, plus machinery parts.
Fewer imports in August
Unlike Canada, which increased its imports by 2.1%, Quebec’s dropped 1.6% in August as gasoline, and aircraft and jet fuel imports declined.
The government measures 25 groups of products imported by Quebec: all went up in August. Copper and copper alloys were highest, followed by crude oil and passenger cars.
From the US, Europe, Asia
Imports of vehicles and non-ferrous metals (mainly gold) from the US all posted significant increases in Quebec’s imports, while crude oil had a notable decline, followed by jet fuel. According to Stats Quebec, non-seasonally adjusted imports from the US fell by 8.7% and accounted for 37.4% of Quebec imports.
Imports from Europe dropped by 12.3% and accounted for 25.8% of all Quebec imports. Higher imports included crude oil, aircraft parts and aerospace equipment. Motor gasoline, passenger cars, lubricants and other refined petroleum products recorded the largest drops.
Imports from Asia declined by only 3.3% and accounted for 19.4% of all Quebec imports. Computers, computer peripherals, and tires posted the largest increases. The sharpest drops were for passenger cars, aircraft and aerospace equipment.
Trade between Quebec and Asia will likely increase in coming months, because of Canada’s new free trade deal with South Korea. According to the federal government, the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement “should” increase Canadian exports to South Korea by 32%. The deal will also increase South Korean vehicles in the Quebec market.