Alberta export numbers reach all-time high, with energy leading growth

Alberta monthly exports have reached an all-time high totalling $11.97 billion for the month of May. 

Beef exported to Japan is up after implementation of Trans-Pacific Partnership

Pumpjacks are shown pumping crude oil near Halkirk, Alta. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)

Alberta monthly exports have reached an all-time high totalling $11.97 billion for the month of May. 

The bulk of the growth of exports came from the energy sector, accounting for $8.96 billion. That is up $1.8 billion over May of last year. 

"Alberta exports did reach their highest levels in history, and that's primarily on growth from energy products, primarily oil that we send to the United States. That is up significantly just in the past few months," said Trevor Tombe, an associate professor of economics at the University of Calgary. 

"That really relates to the big issue in Alberta around the oil price differential, market access and production curtailment that kicked in in January. We've seen a big increase in the price received by producers in Alberta relative to those lows of December, November, January."

Tombe says curtailment has led to an increase of nearly 90 per cent in the value per barrel of Alberta oil exported to the U.S., and with the gradual easing of the curtailments, the number of barrels exported has also started growing again. 

Another success story hidden in the export numbers is the increased trade resulting from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Tombe says he's been watching substantial growth in the amount of Alberta beef exported to Japan, up roughly five times what it was last year. 

Beef exports to Japan have increased, thanks to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (Todd Korol/Reuters)

Canada as a whole saw its exports grow when compared with April, as well as over May 2018, totalling $50.7 billion.

Alberta trailed only Ontario in terms of merchandise exported. Ontario sent $18.91 billion worth of goods abroad. The auto industry accounts for the biggest part of that province's exports.