Canada exported fresh-cut Christmas trees worth $43.1 million in 2016, but also imported fake Christmas trees worth $61 million the same year, with $59.5 million coming from China. (Black Press file photo)

Canadian exports of Christmas trees are real and they are spectacular

But Canadians also imported fake Christmas trees worth $61 million in 2016

One-thousand-eight-hundred-and-seventy-two.

That is the number of farms that grew Christmas trees in Canada in 2016. According to the 2016 Census of Agriculture, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario, British Columbia and New Brunswick are the main ‘growing’ provinces.

Domestic sales of fresh-cut Christmas trees generated $77.6 million in farm cash receipts, and Canada is a net exporter of fresh-cut Christmas trees.

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In 2016, Canada sent more than 1.95 million fresh-cut Christmas trees beyond its borders, generating $43.1 million in value. Surprisingly, most of the trees — about 1.866 million — went to the United States, not exactly a place short of trees. Their total value added up to $39.7 million. More surprisingly, Canada imported fresh-cut Christmas trees worth $5.1 million.

Looking beyond the United States, fresh-cut Canadian Christmas trees will stand in living rooms around the world, from the Caribbean to western Europe, Russia, the Philippines and Thailand. Even the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela bought Canadian trees.

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Among the provinces, Quebec leads all exporters by a mile, generating $27.4 million in value. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia followed with $7.89 million and $7.2 million respectively. No other province had sales in excess of $475,000 (Ontario) with sales in B.C. barely topping $54,000. PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Alberta exported zero trees.

But if Canada is a global leader in fresh-cut Christmas trees, Canadians are undermining this position by their choices.

Canadians imported artificial Christmas trees worth $61 million in 2016, with China accounting for $59.5 million.


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