HALIFAX, N.S.–Nova Scotia’s agri-food exports are projected to see a third year of double-digit growth in 2015, according to Export Development Canada (EDC).
Solid recovery in the U.S., higher live lobster prices and increased diversification of sales to emerging markets will power the sector to 22% growth this year.
“Economic recovery in the U.S. means consumers are dining out more and buying pricier menu items,” says Peter Hall, Chief Economist, EDC. “Nova Scotia live lobster is a hot commodity, especially for big cities in the US Northeast.”
The strength in the agri-food sector, combined with increased investment in the auto sector, will help drive the province’s total export growth to 7%.
The growing middle class in Asian countries has led to increased demand for seafood, and helped to diversify the province’s export destinations. “Seafood exports outside of the U.S. are growing rapidly. This is quickly becoming one of the country’s more diversified export sectors,” says Hall.
Canada’s free-trade agreement with South Korea, ratified in January, is also expected to increase shipments to East Asia.
Seafood exports aren’t the only good-news story for the province. Last year’s large investment by Michelin, together with investments by other manufacturers, will see auto sector exports grow by 14% this year.
“Industrial demand in the U.S. is going to be a major driver of global economic growth in 2015,” said Hall. “Our neighbours to the south are running out of manufacturing capacity. This will see more industrial investment coming to Canada, and is a good opportunity for small- to medium-sized Canadian companies to begin exporting or expand their U.S. client base, to make that first jump into exporting.”
Other Nova Scotia industries that will benefit from increased investment are aerospace and the biochemicals sector. While the overall outlook for Nova Scotia is positive, the energy sector will be hit by a sharp drop in activity.
“The impact of oil prices is being felt across the country, and Nova Scotia is no exception,” said Hall. “Energy exports in Nova Scotia will see a significant drop this year. However, the outlook for other sectors is rescuing the bottom line.”