The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact across nearly every sector of the Saskatchewan economy since it started in March of this year. Exports are one area which has seen a downturn, but not necessarily every export is being affected negatively. Provincewide, exports were down by roughly three percent across all sectors, but one area has seen some growth, according to Chris Dekker with the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership.
"When you take a look at our non-petroleum exports, which are really agriculture and agri-products, it actually increased by about 6.4 percent over those first six months," Dekker explained. This was buoyed in part by a need for countries that import products from Saskatchewan looking to bolster their supplies due to the pandemic.
Some of the numbers seen over the course of the first half of the year were astounding, as well. Dekker stated some products had seen numbers nearly triple.
"A 160 percent increase in peas to China, a 189 percent increase in lentils to India, and a staggering 7550 percent increase in canola oil sales to Japan," Dekker exclaimed.
The increase in the exports goes to bolster the thought many share about the province's agricultural industry, Dekker said.
"That really underscores the notion that the world needs what Saskatchewan exports, particularly during pandemics."