Québec’s international exports up in 2017

Québec, February 28, 2018. – Québec’s seasonally adjusted international exports in constant dollars at 2007 prices increased by 2.0% in 2017 and totalled $75.8 billion. In Canada, they were up 1.4%, for a total export value of $496.7 billion. Similarly, in December 2017, Québec’s exports were up 5.3%, while Canadian exports were down 1.9%. These figures on international merchandise trade were released today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Fifteen of the top 25 products exported by Québec posted gains in 2017. Aircraft engines, aluminum and aluminum alloys, and medium and heavy-duty trucks and chassis posted the largest gains. On the other hand, iron ores and concentrates, aircraft, and other unwrought non-ferrous metals (mainly zinc) registered the sharpest drops.

In December 2017, aircraft exports recorded strong growth, while iron ores and concentrates posted the most significant decline.

Exports to the United States in current dollars were up 5.6% in 2017. They accounted for 70.8% of Québec’s exports, 0.2 percentage points less than in 2016. Exports of unwrought aluminum and aluminum alloys grew the most, followed by aircraft engines. Conversely, aircraft recorded the sharpest drop among the commodities exported to our neighbours to the south in 2017.

Exports to Europe grew 7.3% in 2017. They accounted for 13.6% of Québec’s total exports, up 0.2 percentage points from 2016. The most significant increases were in aircraft, diesel fuel, and oilseeds (except canola). Among the top 10 commodity groups exported to Europe, two registered declines, namely aircraft engines and aircraft parts and other aerospace equipment.

Exports to Asia were up 4.4% in 2017. They accounted for 8.6% of Québec’s total exports, down 0.1 percentage points from 2016. The largest increases were posted by wood pulps, commercial and service industry machinery, and fresh and frozen pork. Oilseeds (except canola) and newsprint were down the most in comparison with the previous year.

Québec’s international imports up in 2017

Québec’s seasonally adjusted international merchandise imports in constant dollars at 2007 prices rose 3.5% in 2017 and totalled $80.2 billion. In Canada, they were up 4.9%, for a total import value of $478.1 billion. In December 2017, Québec’s imports contracted 3.5%, while Canadian imports rose 0.6%.

Eighteen of the top 25 commodities imported by Québec posted an increase in 2017. Passenger cars and light trucks registered the strongest increase by far, followed by unwrought copper and copper alloys and pharmaceutical and medicinal products. In contrast, the main declines were in crude oil and in printed and integrated circuits, semiconductors and printed circuit assemblies.

That being said, in December 2017, imports of bauxite and aluminum oxide were up the most, while lubricants and other petroleum refinery products saw the sharpest decline.

Imports from the United States in current dollars were up 3.2% in 2017. They accounted for 34.6% of Québec’s total imports, down 0.8 percentage points from 2016. The largest increase was in passenger cars and light trucks, followed by crude oil. Motor gasoline declined the most.

Imports from Europe were up 7.1% in 2017. They accounted for 27.1% of Québec’s imports, up 0.4 percentage points from the previous year. The strongest gains were posted by pharmaceutical and medicinal products, motor gasoline, and lubricants and other petroleum refinery products. For the first time in 30 years, crude oil was not among the top 10 commodities imported from Europe in 2017.

Imports from Asia rose 6.2% in 2017. They accounted for 22.6% of Québec’s imports, up 0.1 percentage points from 2016. The largest increases were in passenger cars and light trucks and in computers and computer peripheral equipment.


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for carrying out all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

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