For the third straight year, Saskatchewan set a record for agriculture exports with total sales of $11.7 billion in 2013, an increase of nearly five per cent from the previous year and 83 per cent above 2007.
Saskatchewan’s agriculture exports represent 23 per cent of Canada’s overall $50.4 billion in agriculture exports, and more than one-third of all provincial exports.
“A third consecutive year of record exports is another example of how agriculture continues to drive the provincial economy,” Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said. “Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers provide safe, reliable and high quality agri-food products here at home and around the globe.”
Saskatchewan’s top three exported agriculture commodities included non-durum wheat, canola seed and canola oil with sales of $2.1 billion, $2.1 billion and $1.5 billion respectively.
Particular focus on key markets was a major factor in the overall increase, with exports to some of Saskatchewan’s key markets up significantly in 2013. Agriculture exports to India increased by 54 per cent, or $243 million; exports to the United States increased by 13.5 per cent, or $424 million; and agriculture exports to China increased by 5.5 per cent, or $104 million.
Saskatchewan agriculture export markets remain diverse, with sales of at least $100 million to each of 15 different countries. The top three export destinations were the Unites States, China and Japan.
Saskatchewan is on pace to achieve the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth goal of increasing agriculture exports to $15 billion by 2020. However, Stewart noted a much improved grain transportation system is needed to achieve this goal.
“We have made significant progress on increasing exports and our producers have done their part by harvesting a record crop in 2013, but these are futile efforts if the grain companies and railways are unable to get these products to our customers around the world,” Stewart said. “We will continue pushing for immediate action to solve this grain transportation crisis, including level of service agreements with reciprocal penalties and ultimately legislative measures if necessary.”