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?