Despite 8% drop, Sask. exports 2nd-highest ever in 2015: province

Using new numbers government export data, the provincial government is reporting that 2015 was the province's second-highest year ever for exports.

According to the Premier, STEP members forecasting increased export numbers for 2016

Some of the drop in exports was due to less oil going to the United States. (Todd Korol/Reuters)

Using new numbers from Innovation, Science, and Development Canada, the provincial government is reporting that 2015 was Saskatchewan's second-highest year ever for exports, with the value of shipped goods going to other countries totaling $32.551 billion.

Despite an eight per cent drop in exports when compared with 2014, the province said the shortfall caused by lower oil shipments to the United States was made up by other sectors.

The only year higher than 2015 was 2014, during which the value of exported goods totaled $35.362 billion.

"Our agriculture industry led the way last year with record sales of $15.1 billion, while exports from our mineral industry increased by 33 per cent to $6.7 billion," Premier Brad Wall said in a release. "These results demonstrate the strength and resiliency of our economy and highlight the ability of our exporters to compete and succeed around the world."

During the last decade, the value of Saskatchewan exports has nearly doubled from $16.4 billion, according to the release.

As for specific numbers from 2015: exports to our neighbours to the south were down 22 per cent; shipments to China were up 18 per cent; exports to India saw a big jump, 60 per cent, when compared with 2014.

The province's exports went to a total of 150 countries last year. 

"Our effort to support exporters as they develop new markets in the fastest growing countries is paying off," Wall said.

He said it's expected that shipments to the Asia Pacific countries will increase. He also noted that a survey of members in the Saskatchewan Trade Export Partnership (STEP) showed that 74 per cent of predict an increase in exports for 2016.

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