April 4, 2017
Statistics Canada announced that the country's merchandise trade balance with the world posted a $972 million deficit in February, after three consecutive monthly surpluses.
Total exports fell 2.4% to $45.3 billion on lower outbound shipments of farm, fishing and food products, aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts, as well as consumer goods.
Total imports edged up 0.6% in February to $46.3 billion, as higher imports of special transactions trade(*), motor vehicles and parts, and farm, fishing and intermediate food products contributed the most to the increase. Special transactions trade led the increase in imports in February, up 33.1% to $815 million.
According to the federal agency, February imports from countries other than the United States increased 4.9% to $16.4 billion, mainly on higher imports from Japan, Norway and Brazil. In contrast, exports to countries other than the United States fell 5.9% to $11.0 billion in February. Lower exports to China (mainly canola) and South Korea (mainly coal) were responsible for the decrease in February. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened from $4.0 billion in January to $5.4 billion in February.
Imports from the United States decreased 1.6% to $29.9 billion in February, led by lower imports of aircraft and crude oil. Exports to the United States were down 1.2% to $34.4 billion. As a result, Canada's trade surplus with the United States widened slightly from $4.4 billion in January to $4.5 billion in February. The Canadian dollar gained 0.5 cents US relative to the US dollar in February.
* This commodity grouping includes low-valued transactions, value of repairs to equipment, as well as an estimate for the late documentation of transactions. The increase for this section in February was due mainly to a return from atypically low import levels of low-valued transactions in January.