Low loonie helping Fraser Valley agriculture industry

The outlook is decent for several industries at the core of Abbotsford’s economy, according to two recent reports.

  • Jan. 28, 2017 7:00 a.m.
The low Canadian dollar might not be great for shoppers looking for deals south of the border

The low Canadian dollar might not be great for shoppers looking for deals south of the border

The outlook is decent for several industries at the core of Abbotsford’s economy, according to two recent reports.

The low Canadian dollar might not be great for shoppers looking for deals south of the border, but for the country’s agriculture industry, the sagging loonie is helpful, according to Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) chief agricultural economist, J.P.Gervais.

In a forecast posted last week on the FCC website, Gervais said the loonie has been a major driver of profitability for Canadian farmers in recent years and, if it remains around the 75 cent mark in 2017, will continue to help the sector, which employs thousands in Abbotsford.

The low dollar makes Canadian products cheaper elsewhere, while increasing revenue for those whose products are priced in U.S. dollars. Those positives outweigh the burden of increased costs for some.

“Given the choice, producers are better off with a low dollar than one that’s relatively strong compared to the U.S. dollar,” Gervais said. That extends to food processors.

Meanwhile, the aerospace industry is due for a year of solid growth thanks to increasing demand from the United States, according to the Export Development Canada’s fall 2016 report.

That report envisioned a seven per cent increase in aerospace-related exports in 2017. It also forecasts a three per cent jump in agriculture exports, and a four per cent rise in industrial machinery and equipment.