Media Release – Saskatchewan Only Province in Canada to Increase Exports in 2020

Media Release – Saskatchewan Only Province in Canada to Increase Exports in 2020

Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership’s (STEP) annual State of Trade report released today found that the total value of Saskatchewan exports to the world reached $30.4 billion in 2020 marking a 2.5 per cent increase over 2019.  Saskatchewan is the only province in Canada to record an increase in exports for the year.  Canada’s total exports dropped by 11.8 per cent.

The growth in exports was due to substantial volumes of agriculture commodities shipped to international markets despite the world-wide downturn in economies during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Saskatchewan agri-food exports reached $17 billion in 2020 growing 31.4 per cent from 2019.

The Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Trade and Export Development, said these numbers demonstrate that Saskatchewan has what the world needs.

“Our key markets are aware that Saskatchewan’s robust agriculture industry produces high-quality products at incredible volumes,” Harrison said.  “The need to feed the world does not pause for pandemic.”

Export highlights included a 15 percent increase in wheat, a 32 per cent increase in durum, a 47 per cent increase in canola seed, 63 per cent increase in peas, and a 96 per cent increase in lentils.   Saskatchewan’s forest products also fared well with dimensional lumber exports increasing by 29 per cent while oriented strand board (OSB) exports increased by 97 per cent.

The preliminary year-end data notes that exports to the U.S. dropped by 18.2 percent to $13.1 billion, due mostly to the price of oil, but maintains their position as the number one market for Saskatchewan products.  Exports to China increased by 33 per cent to $4.14 billion in 2020.  Japan, India, and Brazil rounded out the top five international market destinations.

On the downside, exports of oil dropped by 32.3 per cent and potash by 7.7 per cent 2020 due to ongoing soft prices for those commodities.

President and CEO of Saskatchewan’s Trade and Export Partnership, Chris Dekker noted that STEP predicts the positive export growth to carry into the new year.

While there continues to be ongoing uncertainties in world markets, we are forecasting Saskatchewan exports to grow between three and five per cent in 2021,” Dekker said.  “Given a level playing field, Saskatchewan exporters can compete with anyone on the international stage.” 


A copy of the State of Trade 2020 report can be viewed here.

For more information contact:
Heather Swan – STEP
Tel: 306 529-7245                                                    

Robin Speer – Ministry of Trade and Export Development      
Tel: 306 519-5006