From an international trade perspective, Canada’s exported goods were worth US$446.6 billion for 2019. That dollar amount reflects an 8.7% increase since 2015 but a -0.9% dip from 2018 to 2019.
The following analysis compares 10 among Canada’s largest exports-related businesses in terms of asset values, sales and profitability as of December 2019. The Canadian city where each conglomerate has its headquarters is also specified.
Canada’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
Below are some of Canada’s biggest exports-related companies organized by asset value. Shown within parentheses is the primary industry in which each business operates. Also shown is the change in asset value as of December 2019 compared to 2018.
- Enbridge (energy transportation): US$125.9 billion, down -2.7% from 2018
- TC Energy (oil, gas): $76.6 billion, up 0.4%
- Suncor Energy (oil, gas): $69 billion, down -2.5%
- Canadian Natural Resources (oil, gas): $62.3 billion, up 9.7%
- Nutrien (chemicals): $46.8 billion, up 2.9%
- Barrick Gold (diversified metals & mining): $44.4 billion, up 74.8%
- Teck Resources (diversified metals & mining): $27.2 billion, down -7.5%
- Bombardier (aerospace, defense): $25 billion, down -5.4%
- Husky Energy (oil, gas): $21.8 billion, down -15.5%
- Saputo (dairy products): $10.2 billion, up 27.5%
Barrick Gold posted the fastest increase in assets from 2018 to 2019 its 74.8% expansion. Other above-average asset gains were 27.5% for dairy producer Saputo and 9.7% for oil and gas competitor Canadian Natural Resources.
Suffering asset declines year over year were Husky Energy (down -15.5%), Teck Resources (down -7.5%), Bombardier (down -6.4%), Enbridge (down -2.7%) and Suncor Energy (down -2.5%).
Sales is the life blood for most businesses and is particularly important for firms that compete in fast-paced international trade. As shown below, five of Canada’s largest exports-related companies increased their year-over-year sales as of December 2019 led by the 19.4% gain from 2018 to 2019 for energy sector player Canadian Natural Resources.
- Enbridge: US$37.5 billion, up 11.6% from 2018
- Suncor Energy: $28.9 billion, up 12.5%
- Nutrien: $20 billion, up 1.9%
- Canadian Natural Resources: $17.2 billion, up 19.4%
- Bombardier: $15.8 billion, down -5.4%
- Husky Energy: $14.6 billion, down -5.2%
- Saputo: $10.9 billion, down -5.5%
- TC Energy: $9.8 billion, down -7.1%
- Barrick Gold: $9.7 billion, up 18.3%
- Teck Resources: $8.4 billion, down -11.6%
Other double-digit sales increases belonged to Barrick Gold (up 18.3%), Suncor Energy (up 12.5%) and Enbridge (up 11.6%).
The five sales decliners were Teck Resources (down -11.6%), TC Energy (down -7.1%), Saputo (down -5.5%), Bombardier (down -5.4%) and Husky Energy (down -5.2%).
Five of the largest Canadian corporations heavily dependent on exporting products earned at least US$1 billion in annual profit for 2019.
- Enbridge: US$4.3 billion, up 95.5% from 2018
- Canadian Natural Resources: $4.1 billion, up 95.2%
- Barrick Gold: $4 billion, down -54.4%
- TC Energy: $3.1 billion, up 13.6%
- Suncor Energy: $2.2 billion, down -26.7%
- Nutrien: $998.8 million, down -72%
- Saputo: -$466 million, down -28.7%
- Bombardier: -$1.8 billion, up 290.5%
- Husky Energy: -$2.6 billion, reversing $750 million in profit
- Teck Resources: -$453.1 million, reversing a $2.1 billion profit
Posting the biggest profit gains year over year were Barrick Gold (up 312.4%), Enbridge (up 95.5%) followed closely by Canadian Natural Resources (up 95.2%).
In contrast, diversified metals and mining kingpin Teck Resources and oil and gas player Husky Energy went from generating black ink in 2018 to incurring significant losses for 2019.
Six of the 10 largest Canadian export companies are based in Calgary, Alberta where unemployment remains relatively high due to Canada’s floundering energy industry. Two companies are headquartered in the province of Quebec, while the remaining two are in Saskatchewan and British Columbia (BC).
- Barrick Gold: Calgary, Alberta
- Bombardier: Montreal, Quebec
- Canadian Natural Resources: Calgary, Alberta
- Enbridge: Calgary, Alberta
- Husky Energy: Calgary, Alberta
- Nutrien: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- Saputo: Montreal, Quebec
- Suncor Energy: Calgary, Alberta
- TC Energy: Calgary, Alberta
- Teck Resources: Vancouver, BC
Notably absent from the list is Canada’s most populous province, Ontario. Nevertheless, Ontario is home to many world-class banks and other financial services providers that play critical support roles in financing international trade transactions.
Note some of the above company offerings may include products other than the principal category shown within parenthesis under the Assets tab.
For example, Bombardier has traditionally not only manufactured aerospace products including business and commercial aircraft, but also had a transportation segment that designs and produces railway, subway and streetcar vehicles.
See also Canada’s Top 10 Imports, Canada’s Top 10 Exports, Top Canadian Trade Balances and Canada’s Top Trading Partners
Forbes Global 2000 individual company profiles, Example of top Canadian company compiled for this study: Enbridge. Accessed on August 28, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings for Canada, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 28, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 28, 2020
Wikipedia, List of companies of Canada. Accessed on August 28, 2020
Wikipedia, List of largest companies in Canada by profit. Accessed on August 28, 2020