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19 Aug 2013

Québec’s biofood exports reach new high

iStock

With a growth rate of 9.1% over 2011, Québec’s biofood exports totalled $6.1 billion in 2012.

The stronger export growth compared to 2011 is due in large part to the performance of specific sectors, particularly:

  • unprocessed oil seeds (+ 54%)
  • sugar confectionery (39%)
  • cereal and flour-based preparations (22%)
  • animal feed (14%)
  • fruits and vegetables, including their preparations (13%)

A wide range of products

Québec exports a very wide range of products. However, pork, soybeans, cacao and its preparations, fruits and vegetables and miscellaneous food preparations were the five main groups of products sold by Québec in international markets in 2012.

These products accounted for approximately 62% of the total value of biofood products exported internationally by Québec.

Destinations: United States and emerging countries

Although Québec ships biofood products to 159 countries, the United States is still their main destination. Québec's share of biofood exports to its southern neighbour peaked at 72% in 2003 and attained 53% in 2012.

This decline can be explained by the combined effect of slowed growth in Québec’s exports to the United States and more accelerated growth in biofood exports to other countries, especially emerging countries.

In fact, Québec's share of biofood exports to emerging countries (Brazil, Chili, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, South Africa, Mexico, Ukraine and Russia) has been continually rising for over a decade, especially for pork products, vegetable oils, maple syrup and sugar and animal feed.

The value of Québec’s biofood exports to these countries rose from $112 million to $1.05 billion between 2003 and 2012.

The three countries of Russia, China and South Korea divide up 85% of these exports.

MAPAQ – Biofood activity in Québec in 2012 (in French)
Export Québec – Agrifood sector (in French)

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