Industry Lens: Agriculture—August 2021

The Conference Board of Canada, August 30, 2021
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This industry profile provides a five-year forecast for Canada’s agriculture industry.

Document Highlights

  • Unlike many industries, Canada’s agriculture sector did not decline in 2020; in fact, it expanded by a solid 7.7 per cent. We expect 2021 will be another good year, with a 6.1 per cent increase, but dry conditions are weighing on our overall outlook for the industry.
  • The cannabis sector has been the main driver of growth in agriculture since 2018. However, current oversupply issues in the segment will weigh heavily on its growth prospects beyond 2021.
  • The industry has one of the most pronounced labour gaps in Canada and is in dire need of workers. We expect employment will decline over the long term as many workers retire and are not replaced.
  • We forecast prices of key crops will decrease during the second half of 2021 and in 2022. Still, they are expected to remain above their pre-pandemic levels.
  • Exports in agriculture are expected to stay elevated over the near term, thanks to strong international demand as global food insecurities continue.

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