Goal 5

Value of Exports - Deep Dive

Nova Scotia will have increased the total annual value of exports (international and inter-provincial) by 50%.

Updated:

Value of Exports
Value of Exports Deep Dive

In real dollar terms, Nova Scotia’s total exports (interprovincial and international) have remained relatively unchanged over the past decade, though in recent years there has been some growth in nominal terms as a result of price increases.
 

yearrealnominal
198161913769
198256653617
198356763893
198463584557
198566184805
198679255571
198780135854
198875145497
198979485942
199080026067
199180486211
199285376586
199387726893
199487807234
199589948020
199698188729
1997108519463
1998111389547
19991159210342
20001269312121
20011339212781
20021425313224
20031443013722
20041488914394
20051468814756
20061434314155
20071518115181
20081464815848
20091371513616
20101434014384
20111411515304
20121407615098
20131361914931
20141283614327
20151314614947
20161305715410

 

Nova Scotia’s total exports can be broken down by destination and type. Exports to other provinces account for just over half of the total. While goods – as opposed to services – account for just over half of the value of exports to other provinces, export goods account for a large majority of the value of exports to other countries. Overall, goods account for 60 per cent of the province’s total exports.
 

grouppercent
Exports of goods to other countries36.4%
Exports of services to other countries10.7%
Exports of goods to other provinces23.6%
Exports of services to other provinces29.0%

Though goods account for the lion’s share of the province’s exports, the service sector has been a much steadier source of growth since the early 2000s. The value of exports of goods to other provinces has declined 1.2 per cent from 2000 to 2016, and goods exports to other countries have declined by 13.7 per cent. Over that same period, service exports to other provinces have grown by 30.6 per cent, while services exported to other countries increased by 28.9 per cent.
 

yeargoods to other countriesservices to other countriesgoods to other provincesservices to other provinces
1981211535523821445
1982208136018161507
1983197334320031456
1984227837122701534
1985227438123321748
1986277442828162033
1987315438624242085
1988261537923762258
1989275238526262318
1990276146324282466
1991306350922962251
1992325254825142306
1993338162324902353
1994331473924362381
1995326278026822404
1996383787927352419
1997440798828192648
1998456899828212750
1999480899130412743
20005515108731252901
20015661107635533072
20026250118837842958
20036071111641473054
20046379127640613118
20056107131340503189
20065713126439863390
20076377128640163502
20085944120138403670
20095460125635223484
20105940128536203527
20115608122736773613
20125632126736973494
20135053128037963471
20144656132931053719
20154982139530133750
20164759140130863788

Though total international goods exports have remained relatively flat since the early 2000s, there has been notable shifts in the composition of commodities being exported. This includes significant growth in the province’s two largest merchandise export categories – seafood and tires. After declining through the 2000s, seafood exports have more than doubled since 2010, driven primarily by growing demand for lobster in Asian markets. Tires produced and exported by Michelin plants in Nova Scotia have also increased by 22 per cent.

Nova Scotia International Merchandise Export by Select Commodity, 2017
  Value ( $ millions) Share of total   2000-2017 average annual growth
Seafood $1,839 33.9%

10.9%

Tires $1,155 21.3%

6.6%

Pulp and paper $448 8.3%

-10.7%

Natural gas $16 0.3%

-54.3%

Sub-total $3,458 63.8%  
Total $5,424 100%

1.1%

Despite these recent successes, overall export of goods has been hampered by declining natural gas production. As recently as 2008, natural gas from Sable Island was the province’s largest merchandise export, valued at $1.6 billion that year. However, beginning in 2009, dwindling reserves at Sable Island led to a continuous decline in natural gas exports until they reached just $168 million in 2012. Though natural gas saw a brief resurgence in 2014 as production at Deep Panuke began in earnest, the discovery of lower than expected reserves resulted in a switch to seasonal production in 2015. Overall, natural gas exports have declined by 99 per cent since 2008.

yeartotalnon-energyenergy
19932430.4741212243.604153186.869968
19942609.811322191.690952418.120368
19952976.641912288.278962688.362948
19963116.5251732506.669381609.855792
19973161.0213662515.454265645.567101
19983439.9310093307.796066132.134943
19993984.5591063950.2771834.281926
20005131.8081144310.526281821.281833
20015706.6868664385.9371561320.74971
20025225.5719434360.634393864.93755
20035351.3362754058.7255991292.610676
20045430.4899294201.3792961229.110633
20055654.011064230.7642761423.246784
20065070.6746283949.8374681120.83716
20075287.6790844083.5244271204.154657
20085644.7249894082.4054851562.319504
20094236.5988723490.522482746.07639
20104278.9638213765.346867513.616954
20114394.5422773935.097612459.444665
20123834.518733666.585746167.932984
20134323.8779274060.695348263.182579
20145249.99784511.57977738.41803
20155345.6205055103.069964242.550541
20165230.8162845136.18152694.634758
20175423.8081675407.42542716.38274

Looking forward, overall export growth rates should pick up as lower, but more stable, natural gas production has less of an offsetting impact on strong growth in non-energy exports.
 

Changes to the indicator, baseline, or target:

  • The goal was assumed to be measuring exports in real dollars (as opposed to current prices)
  • Contextual numbers were removed from the goal statement. It was assumed that the target was to grow exports by 50 per cent over the baseline, not to the specific dollar value provided for context in the Report of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy. This was done to keep the goal consistent in case of future historical revisions to the source data.