Diversification drives Manitoba’s hot export performance

EDC reports manufacturing and agri-foods lead the way to steady growth.

May 19, 2016   by PLANT STAFF

New Flyer's Xcelsior XD40 transit bus. Photo: New Flyer

New Flyer’s Xcelsior XD40 transit bus.
Photo: New Flyer

WINNIPEG — Thanks to diversification and strong performances from manufacturing and agri-foods, Manitoba’s exports will grow by 4% in 2016 and 5% next year, according to Export Development Canada’s (EDC’s) semi-annual Global Export Forecast.

Describing Manitoba as one of the most diversified export economies in Canada, EDC says continuing steady growth from last year is driven by strong performances across all sectors.

Manufacturing saw motor vehicles increase 22% and aerospace grew by 16% this year. EDC cited New Flyer Industries, a bus manufacturer, for “leading the charge” with several important contract wins.

“New Flyer Industries specialized in heavy-duty buses, focussed on innovation and now they are a leader in North America for this technology. They’ve been so successful in part because they know how to sell into markets outside of Canada,” noted Peter Hall, EDC’s chief economist.


Agri-food, Manitoba’s largest export sector, accounting for more than one-third of sales, will grow 2% this year and 5% in 2017.

This positive outlook is driven by pork meat and hog exports responding to increasing Asian demand, thanks to the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Manitoba is also expected to benefit from US pork production dropping back to normal levels after years of record-highs.

Oilseeds and pulse exports will also perform relatively well this year and next. EDC says the strength of these sub-sectors will help offset this year’s decline in wheat exports. Despite relatively strong wheat production, global demand is predicted to be weaker due to high inventories and strong production from the US, China and India.

While provincial exports will continue to rely heavily on the strength of the US economy, EDC says the diversity of Manitoba’s exports presents opportunities in emerging markets as well.

“Manitoba companies and producers have the opportunity to gain entry beyond North America because of the variety and types of products they are selling. It’s not just hogs and wheat, but also pharmaceuticals and clean technology,” says Hall.

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