Exports of energy products rose 32.4 per cent, on the strength of higher shipments of crude oil and crude bitumen: StatsCan

Mario ToneguzziAn increase in energy products fuelled a record year in 2017 as Canadian exports increased 5.4 per cent to $549.6 billion, the first annual increase since 2014.

Statistics Canada reported on Wednesday that the gain in 2017 was due to higher exports of energy products and metal and non-metallic mineral products.

“Exports of energy products rose 32.4 per cent, on the strength of higher shipments of crude oil and crude bitumen. The growth was mostly due to higher crude oil prices (+24.6 per cent). Export volumes of crude oil increased 5.7 per cent, despite declines in the third (-2.2  per cent) and fourth (-5.6 per cent) quarters related to severe weather and pipeline disruptions in the United States,” said the federal agency.

“On a customs basis, the share of Canadian heavy oil exports increased from 64.7 per cent of total crude oil exports in 2016 to 70.5 per cent in 2017. The share of heavy oil in crude oil exports has increased in each of the last three years. More than half of all crude oil was exported to three U.S. states that have heavy oil refining capacity: Illinois (39.5 per cent), Texas (11.3 per cent) and Minnesota (9.5 per cent).”

StatsCan also said exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products were up 10.9 per cent to a record $63.7 billion in 2017.

“Higher exports of aluminum (+20.3 per cent) and iron and steel products (+20.0 per cent) contributed the most to the increase, both rising on higher prices and volumes. For each of these two products, the share of exports destined for the United States was roughly 88 per cent in 2017,” added the federal agency.

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

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