Goal 15

Fisheries and Agriculture Exports - Deep Dive


Goal Status

Progressing and Surpassing checkmark icon Progressing and Surpassing
Baseline: $1.15B
Target: $2.3B
Current: $2.36B
Bands

NS Seafood Exports

Fishery exports have been the major growth driver for Nova Scotia food exports over the last few years.  Most growth is driven by the lobster industry.  Lobster exports totaled $1.03 billion in 2018 – up from $374 million in 2012. This is the result of strong demand for lobster, a weaker Canadian dollar, improved lobster prices, and increased landings since 2014.

Year Lobster Crab Shrimp Scallops Other
2000 339 108 105 141 406
2001 389 123 92 126 416
2002 427 142 122 135 410
2003 442 155 112 126 343
2004 399 160 92 122 317
2005 393 118 113 97 315
2006 390 81 107 92 304
2007 388 97 107 105 254
2008 352 91 57 95 248
2009 354 85 59 88 224
2010 330 88 66 89 222
2011 367 118 77 105 234
2012 374 134 83 98 234
2013 435 141 107 132 239
2014 577 172 114 164 234
2015 893 181 137 170 303
2016 953 223 113 141 380
2017 943 314 126 144 462
2018 1032 273 138 131 466

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Lobster prices, which have improved compared to 2012, may be the biggest factor behind the increased export growth. Prices averaged about $4.50 per pound in 2012 and 2013 and reached $7-8 per pound in in recent years.  With the Canadian and US dollars near parity in 2012, and in the 75-80 cent range over the last few years, the exchange rate has also aided higher exports. Lobster landings increased by 10 thousand metric tonnes in 2014 and have averaged about 50 thousand tonnes per year from 2014 to 2017. Between 2010 and 2013 they only averaged about 40 thousand metric tonnes.

Several other fishery products also enjoyed growth between 2012 and 2018. Crab exports increased from $134 million to $273 million; shrimp exports increased from $83 million to $138 million; scallops increased from $98 million to $131 million; clam exports have jumped from no exports in 2016 to $85 million in 2018 and halibut exports grew from $25 million to nearly $70 million.

Seafood Export Markets

The United States remains the dominant market for Nova Scotia seafood exports. In 2018, it accounted for about 48 per cent – just under $1 billion in exports.  The fastest growth market for Nova Scotia’s seafood exports is Asia, where sales to countries like China ($532 million in 2018) and its special administrative region Hong Kong ($63 million), South Korea ($84 million), Japan ($68 million) and Vietnam ($30 million) have grown at a faster rate than sales to the US market over the last six years.  Seafood exports to China increased from $83 million in 2012 to $536 million in 2018 and now account for 28% of total seafood exports.  Exports to European Union countries totalled $197 million in 2018 from $133 in 2012. However, growth is slower there than in the US and Asian markets.  The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union reduced tariffs on seafood which could have a positive impact moving forward.

Agriculture Exports

Agriculture exports totaled $319 million in 2018 up from $228 million in 2012.  They accounted for about 13.5 per cent of total food exports from Nova Scotia in 2018.   The major products exported are frozen blueberries, other berries, apples, grains, and trees/plants.

About 53 per cent of Nova Scotia’s agriculture exports went to the United States in 2018, with most remaining exports destined for European and Asian markets. Most of the growth in recent years is in exports to the US market.

Note: Due to differences in source data, the data for both seafood and agriculture exports differ slightly from the data reported by the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. It should also be noted that Statistics Canada’s export data do not count Nova Scotia’s mink production as an international export and thus, it is not included in this data set.

 

CHANGES TO THE INDICATOR, BASELINE, OR TARGET:

  • The baseline number from the OneNS report was corrected for error.
  • The target was adjusted to double the revised baseline.
  • Contextual numbers were removed from the statement of the goal. This was done to keep the goal consistent in case of future historical revisions to the data.