Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

The Port of Vancouver container yard is seem on June 18, 2019. Canada's largest port said cargo volumes through the first six months of the year increased 0.5 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

The Port of Vancouver handled a record 72.5 million tonnes of cargo in the first half of this year, a bright spot for British Columbia as housing markets, the forestry sector and other parts of the economy sag.

Canada’s largest port said cargo volumes rose 0.5 per cent compared with the 72.2 million tonnes processed in the first six months of 2018.

“While Canada is certainly not exempt from the challenges impacting global trade, the diverse range of trading partners and cargo handled through the Port of Vancouver ensures the entire port remains resilient," Robin Silvester, president of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, said in a statement.

Story continues below advertisement

But a new report by Central 1 Credit Union cautions about the impact of trade uncertainty in the second half of 2019.

"A compendium of factors including deterioration in the global trade environment, retrenchment in the forestry sector and slowing consumer spending on big-ticket items will weigh on growth,” Central 1 deputy chief economist Bryan Yu said in his outlook for the B.C. economy.

Mr. Yu said reduced sales activity in real estate, as well as downturns in mining and forestry, will contribute to slower growth in gross domestic product in B.C. of 2.2 per cent this year, compared with 2.4 per cent in 2018.

Reduced housing sales activity, "owing to federal mortgage stress tests and provincial government tax measures, has dragged the resale market into recession-like conditions,” he said. “Meanwhile, the forestry sector has experienced sharp contractions since robust activity in early 2018.”

Undaunted by the forestry slump, B.C. billionaire Jim Pattison launched an unsolicited, $981.7-million bid this week for full control of Canfor Corp., Canada’s second-largest lumber producer. Mr. Pattison, through Great Pacific Capital Corp., owns 51 per cent of Vancouver-based Canfor. He wants to take the company private with his cash bid of $16 a share for the 49 per cent of Canfor stock that is widely held.

Last month, Canfor announced the indefinite shutdown of its sawmill in Mackenzie, B.C., and plans to chop one of two shifts at its mill in Isle Pierre, B.C., in September.

Vancouver port authority, tenant battle over terminal plans as container capacity worries mount

B.C. softwood lumber exports plunge as U.S. duties and slowing construction reduce demand

Pent-up demand, falling prices fuel first monthly housing sales increase in Vancouver in 18 months

“A rising number of mills have closed due to current market conditions and lack of long-term timber supply, marking a trend that will likely persist,” Mr. Yu said.

Story continues below advertisement

He warns that global economic conditions are deteriorating amid the U.S.-China trade war.

China’s ban on Canadian canola has eroded total exports of the agricultural product. The Port of Vancouver said it saw a 12.6-per-cent decline in canola shipments in the first half of this year versus the same period last year. Lumber exports slipped 1.6 per cent and other wood product shipments fell 10.2 per cent.

But many commodities enjoyed strong demand, with specialty crop exports surging 34.2 per cent, potash and potassium-based fertilizer shipments jumping 27.3 per cent and wheat exports rising 22.4 per cent.

Imports and exports of goods in containers set a record, with 1.7 million shipments handled in this year’s first half, up 3.5 per cent from the same period of 2018. The shipping industry deploys large vessels to carry containers, which are reusable steel boxes measured as 20-foot equivalent units.

“The Port of Vancouver is definitely a significant driver of the economy and reflective of the trade that goes through the region,” Mr. Yu said in an interview.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is warning that the West Coast could run out of capacity to handle container shipments within six years. The port authority said it needs to win regulatory approval to build its Roberts Bank Terminal 2 site that would be situated on reclaimed land south of Vancouver, with operations opening in 2029.

Story continues below advertisement

But a rival proposal from a tenant, GCT Global Container Terminals Inc., has added to the uncertainty over how best to expand trade capacity.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies