Saskatchewan continues to find itself in an interesting spot in Canada’s COVID-19 economy.
We’re now starting to see some improvement in our trade numbers. The first evidence of a positive trend was in May as our exports started to rise while imports were still falling so the trade deficit fell sharply, narrowing by 85-percent from nearly $5 billion in April to $677 million.
Falling imports was a result of a few factors: we were buying less and other countries were in varying states of fighting the pandemic so their ability to export was all over the place. But we got it together on the export front and demand for some of output was improving.
StatsCan says the increase was attributable to more automotive product moving, to rising oil prices and slack in the rail system as some products were not moving. It turns out that slack was filled up with agricultural goods. Wheat exports, for example, rose 20-percent. And it turns out that the fishing, farming and intermediate food category set a record in May, not the kind of thing you’d normally expect in the midst of a pandemic.