Canadian Plastics

Canada posts third-straight monthly trade surplus: StatsCan

Exports were up 0.5% on the strength of higher exports of motor vehicles and canola, the agency said.

March 8, 2017   Canadian Plastics

Canada’s merchandise trade balance with the world posted a third consecutive monthly surplus, widening from $447 million in December to $807 million in January, a new report from Statistics Canada said.

Exports were up 0.5% on the strength of higher exports of motor vehicles and canola, StatsCan said, while imports edged down 0.3% in January, mainly due to lower imports of unwrought gold.

“Total exports increased 0.5% to a record $46.5 billion in January, despite declines in 6 of 11 sections,” the report said. “Volumes rose 1.0% while prices were down 0.5%. Higher exports of motor vehicles and parts, as well as farm, fishing and intermediate food products were the largest contributors to the increase.”

These increases were partially offset by declines in exports of consumer goods, as well as metal and non-metallic mineral products, the agency said. “In January, exports excluding energy products rose 0.9%. Year over year, total exports increased 1.8%,” StatsCan said. “Following a 6.7% decrease in December, related to a higher proportion of motor vehicles destined for the domestic market, exports of motor vehicles and parts rose 7.7% to $7.8 billion in January,” the report said. “Exports of passenger cars and light trucks, up 12.3% to $5.4 billion, contributed the most to the January increase.”

Total imports, meanwhile, edged down 0.3% in January to $45.6 billion, with 7 of 11 sections posting declines. “Prices decreased 2.7%, while volumes rose 2.5%,” StatsCan said. “The decline in imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products, as well as industrial machinery, equipment and parts was partially offset by higher imports of motor vehicles and parts. Year over year, total imports were down 2.1%.”

Imports of motor vehicles and parts were up 3.6% in January to $8.9 billion, the report said, which returned them to October levels. “Imports of passenger cars and light trucks, which rose 10.9% in January to reach $4.1 billion, were behind this gain, mainly attributable to higher imports from the United States and the United Kingdom,” StatsCan said. “This was the largest percentage increase since September 2010.”

Exports to the United States rose 2.3% to $34.6 billion in January, led by higher exports of passenger cars and light trucks. “Imports from the United States edged up 0.3% to $30.1 billion,” StatsCan said. “As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States widened from $3.8 billion in December to $4.5 billion in January. The Canadian dollar gained 0.8 cents US relative to the US dollar in January.”

Exports to countries other than the United States fell 4.4% to $11.8 billion in January. “Lower exports to Switzerland (-$298 million) and Spain (-$200 million) – both due to fewer aircraft exports – contributed to the decline,” StatsCan said. “Imports from countries other than the United States decreased 1.3% to $15.5 billion in January. Imports from Japan fell $273 million on lower imports of passenger cars and light trucks. As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened from $3.4 billion in December to $3.7 billion in January. Canada recorded a surplus with 4 of its 10 principal trading partners in January.”


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