Export Trends

A few people prefer when this blog focuses on hard data rather than theory or commentary. So, to keep those data crunchers happy, I will be a little more focused on statistical analysis just like the olden days.

The following three charts show the export data for New Brunswick over the first five months of 2008 compared to the first five months of 2007 to show us some trending. The top 25 export categories are shown. You should be able to click on the image to see a larger version. The first image shows the absolute amounts in Canadian dollars, the second shows the $$ change year over year and the third shows the % change year over year.

If Kirk MacDonald was still the BNB Minister he would be bragging in great detail about the 20% rist in the $$ amount of exports in the first 5 months of 2008 versus the same period last year. Billion with a ‘b’ he would say. But a Minister that can see more than one number on a page would see that overall exports less the SJ refinery – are down 15% year over year continuing a distrubing recent trend. On a category basis, it is no surprise that forestry continues to be hit (alothough pulp exports are actually up. If you add up all the export categories in the Top 25 that are wood related, you will see there has been a $253 million drop in the value of wood product exports in just the first five months of the year. For anyone that thinks the forestry industry can just go away without much impact, these figures should be sobering. Eight of the top 25 exports from New Brunswick are wood-based.

On the upside, mineral extraction is up by almost $50 million this year. This is a positive one because presumably the province gets a royalty on that. Aquaculture exports are starting to make a comeback. Fishing and seafood both down, however. Oil and gas extraction is down (it was not much to begin with – I think that must be the Sussex natural gas). And something called Non-Ferrous Metal Rolling, Drawing, Extruding exports are up significantly. Can anyone say what that is?

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0 Responses to Export Trends

  1. Anonymous says:

    David, what is the source of these data?

  2. David Campbell says:

    What do you mean, you don’t trust me?


    My data is for NAICS but you can also sort by product code.

  3. mikel says:

    Think ‘sheet metal’. ‘Ferrous’ is iron, so you can guess what ‘non ferrous’ is. Some statistics also exclude aluminum and copper, but they don’t say that so aluminum and copper would be included.

    Exclusion is the process of stamping aluminum into cross shapes, notably the kind that you see as non bearing walls in new construction buildings.

    Rolling and drawing is similar to what they sound like, rolling is milling, like flattening out the copper lining you find at home depot. Drawing is the process of forming the metal into shapes, usually to strengthen them, its an industrial ‘tool and die’ setup.

    It would be good to know which process amounted to how much. Obviously the more a product is ‘extruded’ or milled, then the more ‘value’ is added.

    I suspect most of that is aluminum, Arvin Machine Works is ‘one of the largest in eastern canada, servicing the mining, forestry, transportation, heavy construction, peat processing, and power generation’ industries.

    Babco Welding manufactures hydraulic cylindars for the construction and rock crushing industry. BIomir Energy specializes in ‘design and light fabrication in renewable energy’.

    These are the bigger ones, the ones responsible (probably) for the bulk of exports, most are usually just regional welding companies doing some sheet metal fabrication.

    Like forestry, or even oil, while exports continue to grow, often at a substancial rate, technological advances has meant that the number of jobs in this sector has continued to fall DESPITE increasing exports.

    And unfortunately, Industry Canada and Statistics canada no longer keeps data on production hours.

    The workforce is marginal, except copper and aluminum, which I don’t know. Industry canada keeps data on non ferrous metal rolling, drawing, extruding and alloying, but EXCLUDES copper and aluminum, and in all of canada that total workforce is around a thousand people, one quarter being administrative positions.

    After a few more pages that’s probably wrong, the biggest growth would be from Zinc, I suspect that’s the whole ballgame:

    The zinc industry in New Brunswick, Canada is the largest in the world by volume and is part of the larger mining and mineral production industry which contributes over $790 million annually to the province. The Brunswick mine, near Bathurst, is owned and operated by Noranda and is the largest producer of zinc and lead concentrate. Despite the fact that a mine’s average life span is approximately 10 years, Noranda and the province have dedicated funding for additional exploration in addition to Noranda constantly improving their production processes to increase their zinc yield (currently at 32% of the total Canadian reserves). This investment and dedication of the province as well as the private corporation of Noranda should continue to keep New Brunswick as a major producer in the zinc industry with an initial estimation of an increase in revenue expected at 6% for the year 2003 alone.

    Note that the province has ‘dedicated funding’ to further exploration, which would lower that 790 million. I would like to see some more detail on those stats, I suspect they may be including timber as well. I find it suspicious that a province with $7 billion budget, one third of which comes from the feds, that one seventh comes from mining, but who knows?

  4. mikel says:

    Just had a thought, if that IS true about the value of mining, then adding that to lumber and you can understand why the north, and rural areas have always been so pissed. The north and rural resources are quite literally ‘funding’ all you guys in Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton. You should be on your hands and knees thanking them for keeping the government afloat-and at the very least paying a little more attention to their ED needs (dare I say even support an airport there:)

  5. David Campbell says:

    Mikel, you are either a fountain of facts or a top notch googler.

  6. mikel says:

    It’s absolutely Google, I’m just not a smart fellow-just smart enough to know how to search for smart people’s info. Although the more time spent researching stuff the more ‘sticks in the brain’ and is slowly replacing old jingles, tv shows, and comic books (getting rid of the tv helped). I don’t use Archie comic analogies nearly so much anymore!

    However, I do have some family in mining, just another fun fact, while mining revenues have gained, canadians still subsidize every miner to the tune of $15,000 of their individual salary-notice we don’t hear much about THAT subsidy in the media.

    There is excellent work done on that at http://www.miningwatch.org, which is a resource that far surpasses Google for mining info. The New Brunswick quote actually comes from a New Brunswick publication designed for investor information-which strangely they ‘sell’ for $8. The contrarian opinion at the end, of course, is all my own:)

  7. David Campbell says:

    We don’t always agree but readers get some balance.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks David for the source. I just want to once in a while check some data that you can’t post here because of time and space limitations.
    Now I understand why Mikel rants every now and then without having any knowledge about what he is talking about!