BC’s agrifood exports were a key driver of record revenues for the agriculture sector in 2018, rising 10% to $4.5 billion. The growth rate was double that of the sector as a whole, which grew 5% to $15 billion.
Now, figures from BC Statistics indicate exports are on track to break through last year’s tally. The province saw more than $4.3 billion worth of agrifood exports in the first 11 months of 2019, up 7% from the same period a year earlier. Agricultural products led the growth, rising more than 10% while seafood exports rose just 1%.
Drilling into the numbers, vegetable exports saw the most significant growth.
Vegetables are the single biggest segment of exports, accounting for $441.7 million worth of shipments from January to November 2019. This amounted to an additional $67.5 million in shipments over a year earlier, for growth of 18%. The growth warranted a call-out from BC Statistics, which described the growth as “particularly strong.”
The majority of exported vegetables head to the U.S., which received $367.6 worth in the 11 months ended November.
The second-largest component of agriculture exports, fruits and nuts, saw exports decline 5% to $422.7 million in the period, a $22 million drop due in part to a smaller cherry crop.
The only segment of agrifood exports to see stronger growth was vegetable oils, which increased 75% to $9.5 million.