Canada is the world’s top agricultural trader compared to all other countries on a per capita basis, according to Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) annual report on global trade.
In 2013, the value of Canada’s agricultural imports and exports was more than $2,100 US per person, followed by Australia at about $1,900 US per person, says the report by FCC Ag Economics entitled A 2014 Look at Global Trade.
The report takes the combined value of all agriculture exports and imports from each of the major agriculture trading countries and divides that number by each country’s respective population. “It shows the agriculture sector is more important to Canada than all other countries, including the United States, Australia and the European Union,” J.P. Gervais, FCC’s chief agricultural economist, said in a press release.
Overall, the report shows Canada as the fifth-largest agriculture exporter in the world — behind the European Union, United States, Brazil and China — and the sixth-largest agriculture importer. China and India — with their huge and growing populations — represent major markets for Canadian agricultural producers.
“The combination of rising household incomes and population growth in India and China present major market opportunities for Canadian exports of beef, pork and pulse crops,” Gervais said. “Canada appears well-positioned as an important agriculture trader in the world and the expansion of trade relations will only help to sustain and build on that.”
The removal of trade barriers for Canadian lentils to India could result in a 147 per cent increase in exports over five years, while rising incomes in China present major market opportunities for beef, the report said. However, pork will remain the preferred protein of the Chinese population.