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2018 Annual Saskatchewan Agri-Food Exports

By Market Development Unit, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

March 2019

Export shipping containers
Saskatchewan continues to be one of Canada’s leading agri-food exporters with sales of $13.4 billion in 2018. Saskatchewan’s export numbers remained relatively stable overall, compared to 2017 with only a one per cent decrease when exports were valued $13.6 billion. Agri-food exports account for over 40 per cent of Saskatchewan’s total exports and continues to be a cornerstone of the province’s trade-based economy.

In 2018, Saskatchewan’s top exports were canola seed, non-durum wheat, canola oil, durum, lentils, canola meal, peas, soybeans, barley, and oats. Saskatchewan’s top export markets were: China, United States, Japan, Mexico, and Algeria. While the overall export sales are similar to 2017 numbers, Saskatchewan experienced three significant changes in our exports in 2018:

China: China replaced the United States as Saskatchewan’s top export market in 2018. Exports to China increased 32 per cent with sales of $3.6 billion in 2018.  This increase can be attributed to increased demand for Saskatchewan commodities. Additionally, China-United States trade tensions resulted in China sourcing from alternate suppliers. China is an established canola seed market for Saskatchewan with exports of $1.5 billion in 2018. Recent developments on some Canadian canola exports to China may impact Trade in 2019. Over the last five years Saskatchewan has experienced exceptional growth for a variety our commodities to this market including:

  Saskatchewan Top Agri-Food Exports to China (value) 

(CAD $Millions)




Canola seed






Canola Oil



Canola Meal






Non Durum Wheat



Pulses: Saskatchewan’s pulse exports continued to experience challenges from India’s pulse fumigation requirements and tariffs. Pulse exports to the world decreased from $2.5 billion in 2017 to $1.75 billion in 2018. Pulse exports to India decreased from $715 million in 2017 to $104 million in 2018.  Saskatchewan producers responded accordingly to market signals and seeded 850,000 less pulse acres in 2018. To keep pulse markets strong, Saskatchewan is also continuing to diversify its pulse exports with sales to China, United States and Mexico growing significantly valued at $455 million, $175 million and $98 million respectively.

Wheat: Saskatchewan’s non durum wheat and durum wheat exports grew 25 and two per cent with sales of $2.4 and $1.2 billion respectively. In 2018, Australia, Russia and the European Union’s wheat production suffered from drought, reducing the overall global supply for wheat. This resulted in an increased global demand and created export opportunities for Saskatchewan. In 2018, Saskatchewan exported over $100 million in non-durum wheat to eight different countries including: Indonesia, United States, China, Japan, Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Bangladesh.  Saskatchewan durum exports continue to diversify away from Italy, due in part to Italy’s Country of Origin and Labeling requirements. Decreased exports to Italy were offset by increased exports to the United States, Morocco and Nigeria with exports increasing 56, 32 and 266 per cent respectively. 

Free trade agreements will continue to impact Saskatchewan’s export numbers. On December 30, 2018 the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership was implemented, creating new opportunities for Saskatchewan export growth in 2019.

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