Canada’s Trade with Japan: One Very Good Reason a Large Export Market May Be About to Grow

Japan is big business for Canadian agriculture.

  • It’s the second largest market for Canadian pork products
  • It’s the fourth largest market for Canadian beef products
  • It’s the second largest market for Canadian greenhouse exports and
  • Japan is a significant importer of grains and oilseeds

With the world’s third largest economy (behind the U.S. and China) and a population of nearly 128 million people, Japan represents a major opportunity for agricultural exporting countries.  Australia, having recently concluded an Economic Partnership agreement (EPA) with Japan, is now the first major agricultural exporter to gain access to the Japanese economy.

This deal means Japan is willing to open its borders to agricultural commodities.  This is very good news, given the importance of Japan to the strength of Canadian trade.

Agriculture makes up 34% of Canada's most significant exports to Japan, with 11 of the top 25 commodities traded. Whereas Canada and Australia are currently tied as the world's third-largest wheat exporters, Canada occupies a much greater space in global markets as a pork exporter.

What is currently big business may very well be on the threshold of getting bigger. For more on the current trade climate with Japan, see this week’s FCC Express Economic Update.

Martha Roberts, Research Specialist