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  1. Introduction
  2. New destinations
  3. An economy based on new export industries?
  4. Export intensity of Canadians industries
  5. Conclusion
  6. Bibliography

1   Introduction

In 2002, Canada exported $396.4 billion worth of merchandise. 1  Slightly less than three-quarters of those exports consisted of Canadian manufactured goods. 2  Between 2002 and 2012, total exports and manufacturers’ sales increased, but exports of Canadian manufactured goods declined (Chart 1). Since the data show that this part of the economy underwent major changes during that decade, we think it is important to understand how Canadian manufacturing exports reacted to economic pressures at that time. More specifically, we consider it important to grasp the restructuring effects of the American financial crisis of 2008-2009 on Canadian manufacturing exports. Moreover, in the context of the free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union that was signed in October 2013, an analysis of manufacturing exports to that region can serve as a basis for comparison in evaluating this agreement and its impact on the Canadian manufacturing sector.

Our objective is to analyze the evolution of exports of Canadian manufactured goods between 2002 and 2012. By analyzing trends in the composition of exports and the distribution of foreign importers of Canadian manufactured goods, we will gain a better understanding of how the market for Canadian manufactured goods changed over the last decade. This study seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. Considering the different events that characterized the global economy during this period, how did exporting Canadian manufacturers adapt to the new economic reality? Did Canadian manufacturers’ trading partners become more diversified?
  1. Also, how did the changes in exports affect the different manufacturing industries? Did the array of exported manufactured goods change, or did it remain the same?

1.1  Methodology

Statistics Canada customs data on international trade will be used to answer these questions. Although these data sets are coded and released monthly on a “product” basis (Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System), 3  they can be converted according to “industry” (North American Industry Classification System or NAICS). 4  There are two types of exports: domestic exports and re-exports. Domestic exports include goods grown, extracted or manufactured in Canada (including goods of foreign origin that have been materially transformed in Canada). Re-exports are exports of goods of foreign origin that have not been materially transformed in Canada (including foreign goods withdrawn for export from bonded Customs warehouses). 5 

Since we are focusing on exports from the Canadian manufacturing sector, we will use only data on domestic exports from the manufacturing sector. For example, we will look at domestic exports from the “petroleum and coal product manufacturing” industry (NAICS code 324). These exports differ from “oil and gas extraction” exports (NAICS code 211), since the latter are raw materials from the mining industry that have not undergone enough processing to be classified in the manufacturing sector. Finally, the analysis will be supported by data from other sources, such as manufacturers’ sales, the Industrial Product Price Index and American data from the US Census Bureau.

1.1.1  Methodology limitations

Prior to the analysis, the reader must be aware of certain methodological limitations and implications in regards to the use of conversion. In particular, it is important to note that comparing customs data and sales of manufacturing industries involves a number of methodological complexities. First, part of the value of a domestic manufacturing export may be the result of work by a foreign manufacturer. Thus, manufacturing exports do not necessarily reflect the Canadian value added of the trade. However, the values on manufacturing sales published by the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing (MSM) do not contain any detail in terms of the composition of sales. This aspect would be an interesting topic to explore for the manufacturing sector in future analyses. 6 

In addition, the data on manufacturing exports represent exported products that are manufactured, that is, they have undergone some form of transformation by a domestic manufacturer. However, some wholesalers not included in the MSM’s sample for manufacturing sales may process certain products before exporting them. These products will be counted in international trade statistics, but not in statistics on manufacturers’ sales.

There are also a number of limitations arising from coding the conversion that creates the link between an exported product and its industry of origin. The codified conversion used in the analysis is based on the 1997 version of the NAICS classification, while the version used today for manufacturing sales is the 2012 NAICS. 7  For this reason, a new conversion was created to compare the data. Details of the conversion are available in Appendix 8 of this paper and the results show similar trends between the two conversions. 8  Based on this exercise, we were able to conclude that using domestic export data converted to the most general industrial level (3 digits NAICS) is a robust way to analyze manufacturing exports.

There may be other minor obstacles. For example, trade data on exported goods may include freight, which is not included in manufacturing sales. Also, it is possible that a manufactured good could be stocked for a period of time before being exported, potentially weakening the relationship between the two variables. However, these limitations are not considered to be significant. 9 

1.1.2  Outline

The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 looks at changes in the destinations of Canadian manufacturing products. Section 3 analyzes the changes in exporting manufacturing industries. We will focus on the industries that underwent the most fluctuations in their exports between 2002 and 2012. Section 4 examines how sales of manufactured goods changed over time with respect to their export intensity ratio. Section 5 concludes the paper with a summary of the research findings. Note that a portion of the data used for this analysis can be found in the appendix.

2   New destinations

From 2002 to 2012, exports of manufactured products decreased more than 7.0%, with a drop of $20.7 billion. 10  This decline was driven by the United States, whose imports of products manufactured in Canada declined by $44.8 billion. Excluding the United States, other countries registered an increase of $24.1 billion. This shows that there were a number of changes in Canadian manufacturers’ export destinations during this period.

2.1  Decrease in US share

The United States accounted for 78.2% of Canadian manufacturing exports in 2012. Of the 21 industries classified in the manufacturing sector, 11  the United States was the top importing country for each from 2002 to 2012. Furthermore, despite the decrease in exports of Canadian manufactured goods to the United States between 2002 and 2012, those exports in 2012 were substantially higher than in 2009, the year when American imports of Canadian manufactured products were at their lowest level.

The period 2009 to 2012 thus saw the United States make up more than half the losses recorded from 2005 to 2009. 12  However, this turnaround was not enough to bring the American share of Canadian trade in manufactured goods back to its levels before the financial crisis. Indeed, that country’s share of total exports of manufactured goods rose by only 0.6 percentage points during the three years of recovery, even though the United States imported $42.6 billion more in 2012 than in 2009, an increase of 25.1%.

The latter statistic shows that the importance of the United States for the Canadian manufacturing sector underwent a transformation during this period, especially during the financial crisis of 2008-2009, when exports of manufactured goods to the United States declined substantially. The subsequent rebound in those exports clearly illustrates this restructuring. For example, from 2006 to 2007, exports of Canadian manufactured products to the United States decreased by $8.7 billion, equivalent to a drop of 2.8 percentage points in that country’s share of total manufacturing exports. The first years of the recovery in those exports to the United States paint an entirely different picture. While exports of Canadian manufactured products to the United States made up lost ground, increasing by $12.5 billion from 2010 to 2011, their weight in Canadian manufacturing exports declined by 0.5 percentage points. The widening gap between the US share of total manufacturing exports and the evolution of manufacturing exports to the United States indicates a restructuring of Canadian manufacturing exports (Chart 2). 13 

Thus the proportion of exports going to the United States declined and then stabilized, despite the strong growth of those exports at the end of the decade in line with the growth of total Canadian manufacturing exports from 2009 to 2012. This indicates that the recovery of these exports during this period did not only come from our neighbours to the south.

2.1.1  Other countries increase their share

The countries other than the United States necessarily saw their share of Canadian manufacturing exports grow. These countries’ share of Canadian manufacturing exports grew by more than 9 percentage points, going from 12.0% in 2002 to 21.8% in 2012. Even though the increase of $24.1 billion coming from those countries was not enough to offset the declines in US exports, these increases in exports to countries other than the United States show an important trend for the Canadian economy. Moreover, 17 of the 20 largest importers other than the United States reported increases between 2002 and 2012. There were few changes from 2002 to 2008 in the relationship between the dollar increase and the share of manufacturing exports going to countries other than the United States, whereas the period 2009-2012 shows a divergence between the two trends, reinforcing the idea that the 2008-2009 economic crisis had a restructuring affect on Canadian manufacturing exports (see Chart 3). 14 

2.1.2  The emergence of China

Among these countries, China had the greatest increase, more than tripling its imports of Canadian manufactured goods. With this increase, its share went from 0.9% to 3.5%, moving China into second place among countries purchasing Canadian manufactured goods. This growth is due to several factors. According to the OECD, the growth in China’s GDP between 2004 and 2010 averaged 11.1% per year. 15  During the same period, total Chinese imports more than tripled, 16  with China becoming one of the world’s largest goods-importing countries. Since the data show that Canadian producers of manufactured goods are turning increasingly toward China, it is useful to look at the types of Canadian-produced goods that are exported the most to China.

2.1.3  Many Canadian manufactured goods are in demand in China

In 2012, 20 out of 21 industries in the manufacturing sector recorded exports to China exceeding their 2002 levels. While the increase in Chinese demand affected a number of Canadian industries, some stood out.

Paper manufacturing was not only the largest Canadian industry that exported to China in both 2002 and 2012, but it was also the one that contributed the most to the increase in exports to that country. Its growth slightly exceeded that of total manufacturing exports to China, growing by 262.2% during the same period. 17  The paper manufacturing market is burgeoning in China, which is of particular interest because this industry underwent one of the steepest declines of any Canadian industry in terms of total exports from 2002 to 2012. 18 

The strong Chinese demand is due to several factors. First, high rates of economic growth have major social impacts, such as an increase in the standard of living and the literacy rate. But above all, China has become a major paper producer in recent years, and it now has the largest paper mills in the world.

However, wood costs in China are also among the highest, which means that Chinese producers must look overseas for their supply of pulp and paper 19  to make their production viable. The increase in these costs is partly attributable to Russia, China’s main supplier of wood, which in 2008 introduced a tax on exports of wood products. Russia’s market also experienced sizable increases in operating costs over the past ten years, becoming less competitive in the European, Chinese and Japanese markets. 20 

The wood products manufacturing industry exported 21 times more to China in 2012 than in 2002. It is interesting to note that of all manufacturing industries and for all importing countries combined, this industry registered the second largest drop in its exports, after transportation equipment manufacturing. 21  This increase was due to a strong real estate market that was also boosted by low interest rates and increased lending on the part of Chinese banks. 22  A strong real estate market, combined with the fact that the Russian wood products manufacturing industry was hit by sizable increases in production costs during the past 10 years, made Canadian wood products more attractive for China. 23 

Also contributing to this rise was the primary metal manufacturing industry. This Canadian industry exported almost eight times more to China in 2012 than in 2002. The factor that contributed the most to this increase is related to China’s economic growth. In this case, domestic production was unable to keep pace with demand. Even though China has many metal resources and numerous processing plants, steel production in China was unable to keep up with domestic demand, thus creating a demand for imports. 24  As a result, from 2002 to 2012, China went from being an exporter to being an importer of primary metal products, helping that industry in Canada to become the country’s second-ranking exporter of manufactured goods.

To conclude, several other industries saw their exports to China grow substantially. One of these was the food manufacturing industry, where its exports increased by more than six-fold during the 2002-2012 period, whose products ranked second among Canadian manufactured goods most in demand in China. Meanwhile, the petroleum and coal product manufacturing industry, even though it ranked only ninth in 2012, exported almost 40 times more to China in 2012 than in 2002.

2.1.4  More Canadian manufactured goods went to European Union member countries

The member countries of the European Union (EU) 25  also contributed to the diversification of Canadian manufacturers' trading partners. EU member countries imported nearly $5 billion more of Canadian manufactured goods in 2012 than in 2002, the second largest increase after China, causing their share of exports of Canadian manufactured goods to go from 4.5% to 6.5%.

2.1.5  British partner and the Dutch cure

The EU member country that imported the most Canadian manufactured goods from 2002 to 2012 was the United Kingdom. Indeed, more than one-quarter of Canadian exports of manufactured goods to the EU went to the United Kingdom. 26  Despite sizable declines in 2008 and 2009, the United Kingdom recorded an increase of $1.4 billion from 2002 to 2012. More than two-thirds of that increase was attributable to imports of Canadian primary metal products.

The Netherlands showed the strongest growth of EU member countries, with an increase of $1.5 billion in its imports of Canadian manufactured products between 2002 and 2012. With this increase, the Netherlands emerged as the second largest purchaser among EU countries of Canadian manufactured products and the sixth overall. 27  This rise was driven by petroleum and coal products, which generated nearly the two-thirds of the increase.

France also revealed sizable growth, with an increase of $908.8 million, representing 56.4% of its 2002 value. Germany reported a more modest increase of $388.7 billion, representing 18.2% of its 2002 value.

2.1.6  Metals, petroleum and aircraft

The United Kingdom and the Netherlands combined accounted for more than 63% of the increase in Canadian manufacturing exports to the EU, with the petroleum and coal product manufacturing industry driving the Dutch increases, and the primary metal manufacturing industry driving the British increases. These same two industries were responsible for more than three-quarters of the increase in Canadian manufacturing exports to EU member countries between 2002 and 2012.

Also, the second-ranking Canadian industry for exports to EU countries in 2012 was transportation equipment manufacturing. With an increase of only 3.2% between 2002 and 2012, this industry has been one of the most stable with respect to Canadian manufacturing exports to these countries since 2006. France, the United Kingdom and Germany were the three biggest EU destinations for products from the transportation equipment industry. For these three countries, the aerospace products and parts sub-industry largely predominates. In fact, aerospace product and parts manufacturing accounted for more than 85% of transportation equipment exports to EU countries, both in 2012 and in 2002.

A final point is that decreases for paper manufacturing products substantially reduced Canadian manufacturing exports to EU member countries. Indeed, 2012 levels were barely more than one-quarter of those in 2002. The relative increase in manufacturing exports to the EU was 36.2% in 2012, but excluding the decrease attributable to paper manufacturing, that increase would have been 60.1%.

2.1.7  New markets for Canadian manufactured goods

How then did Canadian export manufacturers adapt to the new economic reality during these years? The American financial crisis of 2008-2009 generated a major change in the structure of Canadian exports. Even though the United States is still Canadian manufacturers’ main partner, a smaller share of their exports goes to US markets. An examination of Canadian exports of manufactured goods to the United States and that country’s share of that sector’s total exports reveals an increase in the importance of other countries for Canadian manufacturing companies. This is not to say that Canadian manufacturers consider the American market less important, but that they developed new markets for their products during this period.

3   An economy based on new export industries?

Of the 21 industries in the manufacturing sector, 15 recorded decreases in exports from 2002 to 2012. 28  The largest decrease was for the transportation equipment manufacturing industry. The latter has long been, and continues to be, the leading Canadian manufacturing industry in terms of sales and exports. 29  However, between 2002 and 2012, transportation equipment exports fell by $26.1 billion, representing a decrease of 7 percentage points in its share of total manufacturing exports. Excluding the transportation equipment industry, manufacturing exports grew by $5.4 billion between 2002 and 2012.

3.1  The heart of the Canadian manufacturing sector: transportation equipment

Despite the sizable decrease in exports from this industry, it was by far the leading exporter in the manufacturing sector in 2012, with 27.1% of total exports of manufactured goods. For comparison purposes, the second-ranking export industry, primary metal manufacturing, accounted for little more than one-tenth of total manufacturing exports that same year. Also, despite the decrease since 2002, the 2012 levels were substantially higher than those in 2009 for the transportation equipment industry. Thus, from 2002 to 2009, this industry’s exports contracted by $48.2 billion and its share of total manufacturing exports declined 10.6 percentage points. From 2009 to 2012, transportation equipment exports rebounded by $22.1 billion, while this industry’s share of the manufacturing sector’s total exports improved by only 3.6 percentage points. Chart 7 illustrates this industry’s reduced share of manufacturing exports. If the weight of this industry had remained constant between 2002 and 2012, the two trends would have evolved along similar lines. 30  This situation shows how the exports of the manufacturing sector have diversified, similar to the diversification noted with respect to the countries importing Canadian manufactured goods.

3.1.1  American and Canadian trends differ

Since more than 90% of transportation equipment exports go to the United States, 31  it is clear that much of the explanation for the decline in this industry’s exports lies with our neighbours to the south. First, unlike in Canada, the United States sold more transportation equipment in 2012 than in 2002. 32  Whereas American shipments 33  were 20.0% higher in 2012 than in 2002, the sales of Canadian manufacturers fell 17.7%. Since the economic turnaround that began in 2009, Canadian sales of transportation equipment have pursued an upward trend, closely following American shipments. While Canada sold 40.0% more transportation equipment in 2012 than in 2009, the United States sold 41.5% more during the same period. The reason why Canada did not return to its 2002 sales levels is to be found in the pre-recession period 2002-2007. 34  While shipments rose 17.2% in the United States during this period, those in Canada declined 7.8%. This industry’s exports and sales pursued the same trend from 2009 to 2012, but exports reported greater losses between 2002 and 2007 with a decline of 17.6%.

3.1.2  Vehicle exports and American demand: a different trend

In its exports, the transportation equipment industry is largely dominated by two sub-industries: motor vehicle manufacturing and motor vehicle parts manufacturing. 35  Also, more than 97% of exports from these two sub-industries went to the United States in 2012. 36 

The fact that a substantial portion of these sub-industries’ sales goes to the United States shows that Canadian production of motor vehicles and parts is largely tied to American demand for motor vehicles. An indicator of American motor vehicle demand is the variation in the new vehicle retail trade. This trade has increased significantly since 2009 in the United States, and as in the case of American shipments, the period 2002 to 2007 was also positive for new vehicle retail trade in the United States. Also, the 2012 levels exceeded those of 2002, which is not the case for the Canadian manufacturing and export levels for these two sub-industries.

In summary, the evolution of Canadian exports of vehicles and parts and American demand for new vehicles exhibited different trends from 2002 to 2007, even though these Canadian sub-industries depend on American demand. The variation in transportation equipment exports was similar to that of American demand from 2009 to 2012, but not from 2002 to 2007, which explains why, in 2012, the Canadian transportation equipment manufacturing sector had still not regained the levels it registered in 2002.

3.1.3  Export growth in four industries

While most industries revealed declines in their exports, some showed sufficient growth to offset a significant share of the losses registered by the transportation equipment manufacturing industry from 2002 to 2012. In fact, if that industry were excluded, exports from manufacturing industries would have increased by 2.8%. Thus, even though 14 of the other 20 industries (excluding transportation equipment) posted decreases, a few industries had large enough gains to partially offset the decreased exports in the manufacturing sector. However, some of these industries also posted sizable price increases during this period.

3.1.4  Primary metals

The increase in its exports from 2002 to 2012 made the primary metal manufacturing industry the second largest exporter in the manufacturing sector after the transportation equipment manufacturing industry. It had ranked fourth in 2002. Primary metal manufacturing products registered a significant increase with exports being $9.5 billion higher in 2012 than in 2002. In relative terms, exports of primary metal products were up more than 4 percentage points in 2012 compared with 2002, going from 6.7% of total manufacturing exports to 10.7%.

The increase in this industry’s exports is almost entirely due to higher prices, with the industrial price index for primary metal manufacturing products increasing 48.1% 37  and exports in current dollars increasing 49.0% from 2002 to 2012. While more than 80.2% of these exports went to the United States in 2002, only 69.6% did so in 2012.

3.1.5  Chemicals

Exports of the chemical manufacturing industry exhibited a trend very similar to that of primary metal manufacturing, growing by $8.8 billion between 2002 and 2012. With this increase, the industry became the third largest exporter of all manufacturing industries, whereas it had ranked fifth in 2002. Proportionally, the chemical industry accounted for 10.4% of all manufacturing exports in 2012, compared with 6.7% in 2002.

This growth of exports was also accompanied by price increases. The industry exports grew 45.1% while the price index for this industry grew 39.7% 38  between 2002 and 2012. Also, the share of chemical exports going to the United States declined during this period. Whereas nearly 85% of exports went to that country in 2002, the proportion did not exceed 77% in 2012.

3.1.6  Petroleum and coal products

Exports of the petroleum and coal product manufacturing industry generated the greatest dollar increase in the Canadian manufacturing sector, registering nearly $15 billion more in 2012 than in 2002. The exports of this industry also grew proportionally, almost tripling their share of total exports of the Canadian manufacturing sector. Whereas this was the tenth-ranking export industry in Canada in 2002, it ranked fourth in 2012.

Similar to the chemical and primary metals industry, the variation in exports from the petroleum and coal industry was largely a result of an increase in this industry’s prices. Although exports rose 164% in dollar terms, prices increased by more than 132%. 39  Even though there was a slight increase in volumes, rising prices were largely responsible for this industry’s emergence as one of the largest exporters in the manufacturing sector. And finally, as in the chemicals and primary metals industies, a smaller proportion of petroleum and coal product exports went to the United States in 2012. Whereas almost all (97.5%) of these exports went to that country in 2002, the proportion was only 86.6% in 2012.

3.1.7  Food

Food manufacturing was also one of those industries showing an increase in their exports, with a rise of more than 38% in 2012 compared with 2002. With this increase, the industry became the fifth largest exporter in the manufacturing sector during the 2002-2012 period, 40  with its share of total manufacturing exports going from 5.7% to 8.6%.

The price index for this industry grew moderately compared with the previously mentioned industries. Compared with the 2002 reference year, the prices of this industry’s products rose 18.9% and exports in dollar terms rose 38.7%. Consequently, both prices and volumes pushed up food manufacturing exports between 2002 and 2012. In 2002, nearly three-quarters of this industry’s exports went to the United States, while less than two-thirds did so in 2012.

3.1.8  Manufacturing sector exports are more diversified

In summary, Canadian exports from these four industries partially offset the dollar losses registered by the transportation equipment manufacturing industry. In 2012, these industries combined accounted for 38.6% of exports of Canadian manufactured goods, whereas they accounted for only 22.2% in 2002. During this period, the transportation equipment industry’s share went from 34.1% to 27.1%. Even though the increases posted by these four industries were not sufficient, manufacturing exports were less based on the transportation equipment sector in 2012, and several other industries gained ground, making manufacturing a more diversified sector. In 2002, apart from the transportation equipment manufacturing sector, there was only one industry whose share of manufacturing exports exceeded 8%, whereas there were four in 2012.

Lastly, the increases in these industries were all characterized by a decrease in the proportion of exports going to the United States. Even though in all cases, that country led the increase in dollar terms, its proportional share declined substantially for each of the four industries mentioned above.

4   Export intensity of Canadians industries

Export intensity is the ratio of exports from the manufacturing sector to manufacturers’ sales. The export intensity ratio serves to identify the portion of sales going to foreign markets and the portion going to domestic markets. For example, while the food manufacturing industry posted significant increases in its exports between 2002 and 2012 (Table 1), they paralleled the increase in that industry’s sales. Thus, despite an increase in this industry’s exports, practically the same proportion of sales went to export markets. The same is true for the petroleum and coal product industry, whose intensity remained relatively stable despite a sizable increase in its exports.

From 2002 to 2012, 14 industries of 21 saw their export intensity decline. In all, this ratio fell 6.5 percentage points. Furthermore, while most sales of manufacturers were to foreign buyers in 2002 (export intensity above 50%), a majority of those sales were to Canadian buyers in 2012 (export intensity below 50%). Of the industries that had the highest export levels in 2002, the industries that manufactured wood products, machines and transportation equipment greatly contributed to the change in the composition of manufacturers’ sales, with sizable decreases in their export intensity. Chemical manufacturing and primary metal manufacturing were the industries that had the increases that compensated the most losses registered by the previous industries.

5   Conclusion

This paper provides a new perspective on Canadian exports. Since a majority of these exports are manufactured goods, it was necessary to analyze the changes in the structure of exports of manufactured goods to understand how the merchandise trade and the manufacturing sector evolved in the past decade. This period was characterized by several economic events, and the study sought to understand how industry adjusted during it.

Three key changes in the export of Canadian manufacturing goods were identified. First, the share of manufactured goods exported to countries other than the United States has increased. Second, the share of the transportation equipment manufacturing industry has diminished, giving rise to other exporting manufacturing industries. Finally, Canadian consumption of manufactured goods has gained importance for manufacturers compared to foreign buyers over the period studied.

As a result of these key changes, even though manufacturing export levels in 2012 have not recovered to 2002 levels, this sector of the economy has restructured in order to benefit more from markets beyond the United States and to export a greater variety of manufactured goods.

Despite the steep drop in manufacturing exports in 2009, much ground was regained from 2010 to 2012. The United States contributed to this recovery, but that country’s share of Canada’s total manufacturing exports did not follow the upward trend in dollar terms from 2010 to 2012. This relative decline was accompanied by an increase in other countries’ share. China in particular, owing to its economic growth, the strength of its real estate market and high costs for pulpwood, was the country showing the greatest increase in its imports of Canadian manufactured goods during this period.

Exports from the transportation equipment manufacturing industry led the declines in manufacturing exports during this period. Dominated by the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts manufacturing sub-industries, transportation equipment exports had not regained their 2002 level by 2012. This was in contrast to the American demand for new vehicles, which trended upward from 2002 to 2007, a period when sales and exports of Canadian manufacturers in this industry were declining. Despite a major rebound from 2010 to 2012, this industry also lost ground, with other Canadian industries posting sizable increases in their exports during the study period.

Some industries, then, partly offset the losses recorded in transportation equipment manufacturing. In 2012, the primary metal, chemical, petroleum and coal product and food manufacturing industries registered combined higher levels of exports than the transportation equipment manufacturing industry, which was not at all the case in 2002. Prices strongly influenced the showing of these industries from 2002 to 2012.

The data lent themselves to other conclusions. We found that foreign markets no longer account for a majority of manufacturers’ sales, with export intensity now below 50%. Despite strong dollar increases, the food manufacturing and petroleum and coal manufacturing industries posted relatively stable export intensity ratios. The wood product, machinery and transportation equipment manufacturing industries saw their export intensity decline. By contrast, both chemical and primary metal manufacturing posted sizable increases in export intensity.

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