B.C. food sales top $13 billion

Sales of food grown in British Columbia rose by more than $700 million to reach $13 billion in 2015, an increase of over 7%.

This was the second year in a row that food sales grew by $700 million and the first time sales have ever topped $13 billion, according to figures released this week by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture.

“To see the sector surpass the $13 billion mark is very exciting,” said James Donaldson, CEO of the BC Food Processors Association. “The agrifoods sector has a majority impact on B.C.’s economy and has been demonstrating growth year after year, so this is a success story that everyone can celebrate.”

In 2015, sales from the primary agriculture sector, which includes farmers, ranchers and producers, were up by almost $150 million, reaching $3.1 billion. B.C.’s seafood sector also saw sales growth, increasing 4.7% to $867 million. Food and beverage manufacturing, which makes up most of the agrifoods industry, rose by 9.1%, going from $8.3 billion to $9.1 billion.

Read the full article on BIV.com.

Lights! Camera! Lease action! Studios put industrial property in focus

Movie and TV producers have seized 28.9% of all the industrial space leased in Metro Vancouver in the past year, often outbidding traditional tenants to become the dominant player in a tight market.

The unprecedented demand from the billion-dollar B.C. film industry, which has leased 1.5 million square feet since mid-2015, has helped to drive the Metro industrial vacancy rate to a Canada low of 1.5%, according to Sean Bagan, an industrial specialist with Colliers International in Vancouver.

“They have completely changed our industry,” Bagan said, due to film producers’ demand for short leases and a willingness to pay above-market rates, which “had previously never happened.”

Industrial tenants traditionally sign three-, five- or 10-year lease agreements, but Bagan said film shoots need studio space for only about six months. As a result, TV and film companies are paying full lease rates and up to $1 per square foot above that, and even signing two-year agreements to secure the space. They then either hold the site for a second shoot or attempt to sublease the space to another film company.

Read the full article on BIV.com.

Venezuela ordered to pay Vancouver miner $1.6 billion

Rusoro Mining Ltd (CVE:RML) stock more than doubled after the junior miner announced an international tribunal found in its favour in suit against the Venezuelan government over the South American nation’s seizure of its gold projects.

By the close of trading on August 23, the Vancouver-based company changed hands at $0.345 per share on the TSX Venture Exchange, up 122% affording the company a market worth just over $182 million. Nearly 12 million shares were traded, many multiples of usual volumes for the counter.

In a statement Rusoro said the arbitration tribunal operating under World Bank rules awarded damages of US$967.77 million plus interest which the company estimates would swell the total to more than $1.2 billion (CAD 1.55 billion):

Read the full article on BIV.com.

Vancouver fashion house Aritzia files for IPO on TSX

Fast-growing Vancouver women’s fashion retailer Aritzia LP filed to go public on the Toronto Stock Exchange on August 17.

The company itself will not receive any proceeds from the IPO but investors Berkshire Partners LLC and Aritzia founder and CEO Brian Hill will, by selling their subordinate voting shares.

Aritzia did not disclose how much it expects the IPO to be worth.

The fashion house generated $571 million in sales in the year that ended May 29, while reaping $38 million in profit from its 75 retail stores and e-commerce platform, according to its prospectus. Growth has been significant given that it has opened five stores in the last 10 months. Its clientele tends to be women between 15 and 30 years old.

Today, Aritzia plans to open its second largest Canadian store, in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre – a 10,400-square-foot location, according to Retail Insider Media owner Craig Patterson.

Read the full article on BIV.com.

Oil price rally propels loonie to four-week high against the U.S. dollar

Currencies of commodity-exporting nations such as Norway and Canada led gains over the past five days as oil heads for the biggest weekly advance since April while speculation builds that the Federal Reserve will be slow to raise interest rates.

The Canadian dollar strengthened to a four-week high against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as oil rallied and weaker-than-expected U.S. data weighed on the greenback.

At 9:28 a.m. EDT (1328 GMT), the Canadian dollar traded at C$1.2944 to the greenback, or 77.26 U.S. cents, stronger than Thursday’s close of C$1.2980, or 77.04 U.S. cents. The currency’s weakest level of the session was C$1.2993, while it touched its strongest since July 15 at C$1.2926.

Read the full article on Financial Post.

B.C. continues to have lowest unemployment rate in Canada

British Columbia continued to have the lowest unemployment rate in the country with the jobless rate falling 0.3 percentage points to 5.6%, according to Statistics Canada data released August 5.

Employment rose in the province by 12,000 in July, extending an upward trend that began in the spring of 2015.

Estimated B.C. employment climbed to a seasonally adjusted 2.39 million people in July. That is up 0.5%, or 12,100 people, from June and 3.7% from a year ago.

Canadawide, it was not as rosy a picture.

After three months of little change, employment declined by 31,000 people, or by 0.2%, in July. The unemployment rate nationwide increased 0.1 percentage point to 6.9%.

Read the full article on BIV.com.