Canada's merchandise imports rise 1.2% in April to record C$40.8B as exports fall 0.2% to C$40.3B; trade deficit rises to C$567M from C$3M in March: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA , June 4, 2013 (press release) – Canada's merchandise imports rose 1.2% in April, while exports edged down 0.2%. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with the world went from $3 million in March to $567 million in April.

Chart 1 
Exports and imports
Line chart – Chart 1: Exports and imports, from April 2008 to April 2013

Imports rose for a fourth consecutive month to a record high of $40.8 billion. The increase in imports was led by energy products, motor vehicles and parts, and metal ores and non-metallic minerals. Overall, volumes were up 1.5%.

Exports edged down to $40.3 billion, as decreases in metal ores and non-metallic minerals, energy products, and industrial machinery, equipment and parts were partially offset by a large increase in metals and non-metallic mineral products. Overall, prices declined 0.7%, while volumes were up 0.5%.

Imports from the United States increased 1.9% to a record high of $26.2 billion. The gain was led by metal ores and non-metallic minerals, as well as energy products. Exports to the United States grew 1.8% to $30.1 billion. Consequently, Canada's trade surplus with the United States went from $3.8 billion in March to $3.9 billion in April.

Exports to countries other than the United States fell 5.6% to $10.2 billion, as decreases were recorded in most principal trading areas. Imports from countries other than the United States were relatively unchanged in April at $14.6 billion. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States increased from $3.8 billion in March to $4.4 billion in April.

Energy products lead gain in imports

Imports of energy products increased 6.0% to $3.9 billion in April, as volumes were up 5.7%. Refined petroleum energy products led the overall increase in energy products, rising 33.9% to a record high of $1.2 billion. Imports of crude oil and crude bitumen declined for the fifth consecutive month, partially offsetting the section's increase.

Imports of motor vehicles and parts grew 1.9% to $7.2 billion, led by passenger cars and light trucks, up 3.7%. Also contributing to the increase was medium and heavy trucks, buses and other motor vehicles, which rose 7.2% to a record high of $887 million.

Imports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals increased 10.3% to $1.3 billion, on the strength of other metal ores and concentrates, which grew 11.7% to $888 million. Overall, volumes rose 8.2%.

Imports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts declined 3.5% to $3.7 billion in April, as widespread decreases were recorded throughout the section. Volumes were down 3.2%.

Offsetting movements result in a slight decrease in exports

Exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals declined 13.8% to $1.5 billion in April, as volumes fell 9.8%. Copper ores and concentrates was the main contributor to the overall decrease, declining 62.0% to $136 million.

Exports of energy products decreased 1.7% to $9.3 billion, as prices declined 1.4%. Exports of other energy products, mainly coal, fell 29.1%. After posting four consecutive monthly gains, exports of crude oil and crude bitumen fell 2.0% on lower prices. Higher exports of natural gas (+14.3%) partially offset the overall decrease in the section.

Exports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts fell 5.0% to $2.1 billion. Widespread declines were recorded throughout the section, led by miscellaneous parts of machinery and equipment.

Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products grew 10.6% to $4.9 billion, as volumes (+5.6%) and prices (+4.7%) rose. An increase in exports of unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys more than offset widespread decreases in the section.

Chart 2 
Trade balance
Column clustered chart – Chart 2: Trade balance, from April 2008 to April 2013

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