“There is finally some real momentum in Quebec’s international exports after years of flat growth and declines prior to 2011,” said Peter Hall, Chief Economist of Export Development Canada (EDC). Mr. Hall was in Montreal to share his forecast with the province’s exporters, during his fifth stop in a 17-city cross-Canada tour. The tour is designed to offer market- and sector-specific insights to help Canadian exporting companies grow their international business.

Quebec’s international export are forecast to grow by 7 per cent this year and in 2013, the province’s first positive four-year growth pattern since 2000, according to the Global Export Forecast recently released by EDC.

“Quebec’s export growth picture over the next two years will be driven by a variety of factors, including strong prices and demand for commodities, higher aircraft deliveries, and the slowly developing rebound in the U.S. housing market.”

The three key exporting sectors for Quebec are industrial goods (chemicals, plastics, fertilizers, ores, metals, etc.), accounting for 39 per cent of the province’s total exports; machinery and equipment, accounting for 13 per cent, and transportation, accounting for 12 per cent.

“The aluminum sub-sector is an important driver of Quebec’s industrial goods sector,” Mr. Hall said. “Despite a few operational disruptions in Quebec’s key aluminum plants, we expect to see a modest expansion of production through next year. New investments in nickel and iron ore projects could provide some opportunities for even more growth in 2013, and beyond.” EDC’s forecast calls for Quebec’s industrial goods exports to grow by 6 per cent this year and 5 per cent in 2013.

“The recovery in U.S. construction activity and rebounding automotive production will support Quebec’s exports of machinery and equipment over the forecast horizon.” Mr. Hall said that the province’s machinery and equipment sector will rise by 5 per cent this year and 8 per cent in 2013.

“We expect the aerospace sector to finally shed some of the recession-induced sluggishness through 2013,” Mr. Hall said. “Putting the potential upside of the C-Series in 2013 aside, Bombardier is still expecting a strong year for deliveries in 2012, particularly in business aircraft.” EDC’s forecast for Quebec’s transportation exports calls for a gain of 8 per cent in 2012 and 10 per cent in 2013.