Sask merchandise exports up in 2021

·3 min read

It has been a good start to 2021 for Saskatchewan's merchandise exports and building construction investment.

Saskatchewan’s Merchandise Exports increased by 14.6 per cent in January 2021 when compared to January 2020.

The province ranked second highest in percentage change among the other provinces on a seasonally adjusted basis.

This increase is well above the national average of a 1.0 per cent decrease in merchandise exports.

“Year-over-year exports have been increasing for some time, but these recent increases have been higher than before the pandemic,” said Trade and Export Development Minister, Jeremy Harrison

“Farm and intermediate food products, metal and non-metallic mineral products, forestry products, and industrial machinery and parts saw increases. Farm and intermediate food products increased by 36.1 per cent from January 2020 to January 2021.

“Our exports increased by 14.6 per cent in January 2021, compared to January 2020. This was the second-highest increase among the provinces in Canada. In the entire year of 2020, our exports increased by 2.5 per cent, the highest increase among the provinces in Canada,” said Harrison.

Harrison also noted that exports made up for over half of Saskatchewan’s GDP last year.

“The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to enhancing international engagement including with opening new international trade and investment offices in Singapore, Japan, and India, in addition to our existing office in China,” he said.

“We also continue working with the Government of Canada and stakeholders on market access issues.

“With the global economy recovering, Saskatchewan is in a great position to continue its strong export performance, given that we have what the world needs in food, fuel, fertilizer, and other diverse and high-quality exports.

“Exports are essential to Saskatchewan’s economy. Merchandise exports represented 55 per cent of the province’s GDP in 2019.”

Harrison noted as well that Saskatchewan saw a strong start to 2021 with building construction investment.

In total, Saskatchewan saw a 14.7 per cent increase from December 2020, including a 21.2 per cent increase in residential building construction.

Saskatchewan also saw a 12.5 per cent increase in January 2021 compared to January 2020. The value of building construction investment in January 2021 was $307 million.

Harrison notes that the increases were the highest among the provinces.

“In January 2021, investment in building construction is up by double-digits both year-over-year and month-over-month.

“The 14.7 per cent increase in investment in building construction in January 2021 over December 2020 was the highest increase among the provinces.”

Harrison is also forecasting growth in capital investment in machinery and equipment.

“Capital investment in machinery and equipment is expected to grow by 3.6 per cent in 2021 from 2020, according to Statistics Canada’s data. Similarly, capital investment for construction is also expected to grow by 3.3 per cent over the same period.

“Based on available data, Saskatoon accounted for 49 per cent of the $307.2 million investment in building construction in January 2021, while Regina accounted for 35 per cent, while the rest of the province accounted for the remaining 26 per cent.”

Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator