Saskatchewan ag officials are announcing a record for agricultural exports worth $17.5 billion in 2021.
They add that the total was an increase of almost seven per cent over the record of $16.4 billion set in 2020, which itself surpassed the previous year by 27 per cent.
Leading agri-food export commodities in 2021 continue to be canola seed, canola oil, non-durum wheat, lentils, durum and dry peas, with top international market destinations including the United States, China, Japan and Mexico.
Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison says the numbers reveal that the province is in a strong position to continue producing and supplying world-class agricultural products to meet world demand and support the Saskatchewan economy.
“Our growing export base is creating economic opportunity, good jobs and generating investment for communities across the province.”
Analysts say agri-food exports represented nearly half of Saskatchewan exports in 2021, valued at $37.1 billion.
This is despite having to overcome challenges including infrastructure disruptions due to adverse weather events in British Columbia in order to remain one of Canada’s leading agri-food exporters.
Also, the province exported more than $2.6 billion in each of its key crop product sectors – cereal grains, oilseeds, pulses and edible oils – in 2021. Compared to 2020, canola oil saw an increase of over 50 per cent, with exports to the United States increasing 72 per cent from $1.1 billion to $1.9 billion. Canola oil to South Korea also experienced a dramatic increase of 106 per cent from $71 million to $146 million.
Agriculture Minister David Marit sees the ag industry as continuing to have a key role in the economy with a global impact.
“Our producers have fed the world for generations, and we continue to enable the innovation necessary to keep feeding the world’s growing population, expected to be 10 billion people by 2050. These export figures prove once again that we’re up to that challenge and well on the way to meeting the future goals we’ve set.”
Provincial officials note the ongoing international market expansion plans with the establishment of new trade and investment offices in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Vietnam, in addition to existing offices in Japan, India, China and Singapore.
Officials add that the value-added processing and agriculture sectors are major components of Saskatchewan’s growth plans, which comprise increasing crop production to 45 million tonnes, agriculture exports to $20 billion, and value-added revenue to $10 billion by the end of this decade.
Additionally, they signal as the most recent example of progress toward these targets as the announcement by Federated Co-operatives Ltd., in partnership with AGT Foods to develop a renewable diesel facility and a canola crushing plant in Regina, with a capacity of 1.1 million tonnes and combined economic benefits estimated at $4.5 billion.