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Seafood giant sees growth, opportunity from trade deals
Outside In is a five-part series that delves into the global issues affecting business in 2019.
In Part 1 we look at the big picture on trade and introduce you to three Atlantic Canadian companies winning at the export game.
HALIFAX, N.S. — The limitations of trade agreements in boosting exports is seen in Clearwater Seafoods' latest quarterly report. The Atlantic Canadian seafood giant grew sales by $628,000 during the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter in 2017.
But in the quarter where it enjoyed the CETA benefit of entry into the EU without tariffs, Clearwater's exports to Europe fell by almost $6.8 million compared to the previous year. The company's exports to Europe for the first nine months of 2018 were off by $27 million, to $141.9 million, compared to 2017 results.
Its exports to Asia, however, were up almost $10.9 million.
As of the third quarter of last year, Clearwater — like other Canadian exporters — was not yet enjoying the benefits of the trade deal removing tariffs on many goods to Asia. Despite that, its third-quarter exports to China soared by almost $13.8 million compared to the same quarter the previous year.
In its third-quarter report, Clearwater notes the drop in exports to Europe — its biggest scallop market and an important market for its coldwater shrimp, langoustines, crab and lobster products — was due to a "lower available supply of scallops and langoustines and scallop pricing pressure."
Less product, fewer sales.
Despite its lower export sales to Europe in the first nine months of last year, Clearwater remains a supporter of the trade agreement with the EU.
"The drop in our European sales is due to several factors unrelated to CETA," said Clearwater vice-president Christine Penney.
"Clearwater, along with the Canadian seafood industry in general, is enjoying the benefits of CETA. One example is the growth in our live lobster business that we have realized since the elimination of tariffs. Europe has been and remains a strong region for Clearwater and we expect continued success in 2019."
These companies are doing export right. Click the portrait or the headline to explore regional our export success stories.