New Brunswick's forestry sector to see 1% growth this year, 15% growth in 2013; pulp prices down more sharply than anticipated, mainly for dissolving pulp for textile market, with most global capacity being added or converted: Export Development Canada

MONCTON, New Brunswick , May 22, 2012 (press release) – New Brunswick's international exports are forecast to grow by 6 per cent this year and 3 per cent in 2013 after a jump of 17 per cent in 2011, according to the Global Export Forecast released today by Export Development Canada (EDC).

"New Brunswick's export growth will slow in 2012 and 2013 in line with weakening energy prices," said Peter Hall, Chief Economist of EDC. "Improvements in the U.S. housing market will lend support to exports of wood products and the industrial goods sector will see mixed results, with lower production from the metals sector balanced out by greater potash production."

The three key exporting sectors in New Brunswick are energy, accounting for 72 per cent of the province's total exports; forestry, accounting for 10 per cent, and agri-food, accounting for 9 per cent.

EDC's forecast calls for the province's energy sector exports to grow by 7 per cent in 2012 and 1 per cent in 2013.

"We expect the price of WTI crude to hover around USD100/bbl this year before slipping to USD95/bbl in 2013, and natural gas prices to fall to USD3/mmbtu in 2012 as the U.S. market remains awash in shale gas," said Hall.

EDC predicts that New Brunswick's forestry sector will see growth of 1 per cent this year and 15 per cent in 2013.

"With the US housing market surging, wood products exports will see a strong increase in 2012 and 2013," Hall said. "Pulp prices have deteriorated more sharply than anticipated, particularly for dissolving pulp for the textile market, with substantial global capacity being added or converted."

Exports of the province's agri-food sector are forecast to grow by 2 per cent this year and 5 per cent in 2013.

"Exports of agri-food products will slow considerably in 2012, as farmed salmon prices are expected to decline significantly due to rising production and exports from Chile," said Hall.

"Lobster landings, on the other hand, are expected to improve in 2012 given last year's adverse weather conditions. Potato prices should also improve thanks to a smaller U.S. crop. Prices for snow crab should also do well, given weaker supplies from Russia and Alaska. Also supporting export growth will be the opening of the Rogersville cranberry bog."

Hall was in Moncton today to share his forecast with the province's exporters, the 14th stop of an 18-city cross-Canada tour. The tour is designed to offer market- and sector-specific insights to help Canadian exporting companies grow their international business.

EDC's semi-annual Global Export Forecast addresses the latest global export conditions including perspectives on interest rates, exchange rates as well as export strategies to help Canadian companies minimize risk. It also analyzes a range of risks for which exporters should be prepared. Read EDC's Global Export Forecast.

EDC is Canada's export credit agency, offering innovative commercial solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business. EDC's knowledge and partnerships are used by more than 7,700 Canadian companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year. EDC is financially self-sustaining and a recognized leader in financial reporting and economic analysis.

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