Metals, not metal-benders, drive Ontario export growth in 2013

The industrial goods sector accounts for approximately 34% of the province's exports.

OTTAWA – Ontario’s international exports are set to grow by 8% this year and another 4% in 2014, according to Export Development Canada’s (EDC) Global Export Forecast.

“Ontario’s exports will get a huge boost this year, thanks to a double-digit surge in metal exports,” says ECD’s chief economist Peter Hall. “The boost is timely. After a few years of double-digit gains, the automotive sector will slow considerably, held back by tight capacity. Revival of US private investment will be really good for Ontario’s machinery and equipment industry this year and next.”

The industrial goods sector, which includes ores, minerals and metals exports, accounts for approximately 34% of the province’s exports.  EDC’s forecast for this sector calls for export growth of 15 and 2% in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

“Ontario mineral producers can expect to ship a lot more volume in 2013, which will help to offset lower base metal prices,” Hall said. “Metals and mining will be the star performer on Ontario’s export stage this year. Gold production will jump by over 20 per cent while nickel output will be more muted. Add to that chemical manufacturing, which will be spike towards the end of the year, to rounding out a solid sectoral performance.”

The transportation sector is an historically important contributor to Ontario’s export picture, contributing approximately 36% of the province’s total shipments. EDC’s forecast predicts the sector will grow by 4% this year and 3% in 2014.

“The automotive industry, the province’s largest export sector, will feel the slowing over the next two years, but remember, it has sustained the brisk expansion seen since the crisis,” said Hall. “US demand for passenger vehicles is soaring, but the closing of GM’s Oshawa plant will reduce Ontario’s production capacity by about half a million units in 2013. Despite the production loss, Ontario is still doing quite well over all.”

Nationally, Canadian merchandise exports are forecast to rise 9% in 2013 and 5% in 2013, while economic growth (GDP) is expected to rise 2.2% this year and 1.9 next year. EDC is forecasting global growth of 3.6% in 2013 and 3.9% in 2014.

Read EDC’s Global Export Forecast.

EDC’s semi-annual Global Export Forecast addresses the latest global export conditions including market- and sector-specific insights to help Canadian exporting companies grow their international and minimize risk. It also analyzes a range of risks for which exporters should be prepared.