Forecasts show a major two-year turnaround for exports in Nova Scotia – so strong, in fact, the province is expected to post the strongest export growth in the country next year.
Peter Hall, chief economist for Export Development Canada, says that Nova Scotia exports shrunk 26 per cent in 2009, the height of the economic recession.
“Last year was carnage,” said Hall. “With the price reductions that we saw, it was very hard on the bottom lines.”
But Hall says the forecast for Nova Scotia looks good, with exports poised to grow by 12 per cent this year and another 17 per cent in 2011, leading Canada.
The biggest part of that is energy exports, with the Deep Panuke natural gas project coming on line.
“Deep Panuke coming on is a huge part of this story,” he said. “So on top of a modest price picture, we don’t see too much happening in terms of price changes between 2010 and 2011, it really is the volumes that are driving things.”
The EDC predicts modest growth on the fisheries front in 2011.
Clearwater Seafoods Chief Financial Officer Bob Wight says that’s in line with a gradual turnaround that he’s seeing.
“Our business was impacted with lower volumes of exports and sales,” he said “What we’ve seen in the first quarter of 2010 is a recovery of that.”
Wight says markets in China and Japan have been strong, but the strong Canadian dollar has hurt North American exports.