The industries with the largest numbers of international merchandise exporting establishments in Nova Scotia are goods producing industries — mainly manufacturing and agriculture and fishing — as well as service industries that participate in both wholesale and retail trade.
Industry Number of Exporting Establishments Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting 93 Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction 11 Utilities 3 Construction 23 Manufacturing 296 Wholesale trade 258 Retail trade 87 Transportation and warehousing 46 Information and cultural industries 12 Finance and insurance 6 Real estate and rental and leasing 14 Professional, scientific and technical services 41 Management of companies and enterprises 14 Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services 8 Educational services 4 Health care and social assistance 4 Arts, entertainment and recreation 8 Accommodation and food services 3 Other services (except public administration) 16 Public administration 6
The manufacturing industry accounted for 69 per cent of Nova Scotia’s merchandise exports in 2016. It also produced $11.5 million dollars in exports — the largest value of exports per exporting establishment. Wholesale trade accounted for another 20 per cent of the province’s merchandise exports, while agriculture and fishing accounted for 4.9 per cent. Combined, these three industries generated 94 per cent of Nova Scotia’s merchandise exports, and represent 68 per cent of the province’s exporting establishments.
Industry Value Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting 2.581526882 Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction 6.356727273 Utilities 11.12666667 Construction 0.955826087 Manufacturing 11.49783784 Wholesale trade 3.75894186 Retail trade 0.099678161 Transportation and warehousing 0.682804348 Information and cultural industries 0.048583333 Finance and insurance 2.549 Real estate and rental and leasing 0.862785714 Professional, scientific and technical services 0.62002439 Management of companies and enterprises 3.082 Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services 0.139 Educational services 1.42125 Health care and social assistance 0.408 Arts, entertainment and recreation 0.0175 Accommodation and food services 6.717666667 Other services (except public administration) 0.1565625 Public administration 0.301166667
Digging further into the manufacturing sector, food manufacturing had the largest number of merchandise exporting establishments.
Sub-sector Number Food manufacturing 74 Beverage and tobacco product manufacturing 9 Textile mills 3 Textile product mills 5 Clothing manufacturing 4 Leather and allied product manufacturing 3 Wood product manufacturing 22 Paper manufacturing 8 Printing and related support activities 8 Petroleum and coal product manufacturing 0 Chemical manufacturing 13 Plastics and rubber products manufacturing 25 Non-metallic mineral product manufacturing 6 Primary metal manufacturing 0 Fabricated metal product manufacturing 19 Machinery manufacturing 26 Computer and electronic product manufacturing 18 Electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing 6 Transportation equipment manufacturing 17 Furniture and related product manufacturing 11 Miscellaneous manufacturing 18
The value of exports per exporting establishment by manufacturing sub-sector highlights two of the province’s traditional export industries – pulp and paper manufacturing and tire manufacturing. Both show significantly above average export value per establishment.
Sub-sector Millions of Dollars Food manufacturing 11.92556757 Beverage and tobacco product manufacturing 0.162888889 Textile mills 9.292666667 Textile product mills 7.2454 Clothing manufacturing 1.4425 Leather and allied product manufacturing 0.065666667 Wood product manufacturing 2.540227273 Paper manufacturing 49.596625 Printing and related support activities 0.0425 Chemical manufacturing 5.869 Plastics and rubber products manufacturing 62.1452 Non-metallic mineral product manufacturing 2.370833333 Fabricated metal product manufacturing 0.918842105 Machinery manufacturing 4.6385 Computer and electronic product manufacturing 6.340277778 Electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing 3.951333333 Transportation equipment manufacturing 4.153058824 Furniture and related product manufacturing 0.226272727 Miscellaneous manufacturing 0.177277778
Of the province’s 953 establishments participating in international merchandise exports in 2016, just over two-thirds exported to a single country. However, the 296 establishments that exported to two or more countries accounted for 77 per cent of the total value of merchandise exports, and had a much higher export value per establishment.
Group Number of Establishments 1 partner country 657 2 or more partner countries 296
Looking at the province’s largest merchandise export destinations, 703 establishments exported to the United States in 2016, accounting for 70 per cent of the value of merchandise exports. Exports to the United States also had the largest value per establishment. Though Nova Scotian exports have been largely destined for the United States, there has been significant growth in the number of firms exporting to, and the value of exports destined for, Asian markets. From 2010 to 2015, the value of merchandise exports from Nova Scotia to Asian markets has more than doubled, displacing Europe as the province’s second largest export market. In particular, firms exporting to China, Japan, and South Korea have steadily grown.
|Nova Scotia's 10 Largest Export Destinations, 2016|
|Value of Exports
|Number of Establishments*||
Value per Establishment
|United States||$ 3,430,057||703||
|United Kingdom||$ 78,085||104||
|Hong Kong||$ 66,306||55||
|South Korea||$ 62,227||67||
*Note that the sum of the exporting establishments column exceeds the provincial total of 953. This is because some establishments export to two or more countries.
Group Value (Thousands of Dollars) 1 partner country 1718.385084 2 or more partner countries 12767.55743
Changes to the indicator, baseline, or target:
- We were not able to replicate the baseline number quoted in the Report of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy.
- A new data source has since become available from Statistics Canada, which was adopted here.
- This new data source measures the number of business establishments participating in international merchandise exports. Note that an establishment is not the same as a business. A business can own multiple establishments.
- The change in indicator results in a new, higher baseline, but the target is still assumed to require 50% growth over the baseline.