Canada’s international merchandise trade, July 2013 statistics

Canada’s merchandise imports grew 0.6% in July while exports declined 0.6%, bringing our trade deficit with the world from $460 million in June to $931 million in July. Imports grew to $40.1 billion, with higher volumes recorded in metal ores and non-metallic minerals, basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products and mineral products. Exports declined to $39.2 billion, lower exports of aircraft as well as unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys being the main contributors to the decline.

Imports from the United States rose 2.7% to $26.3 billion, due to strong imports of lubricants and other petroleum refinery products, precious metal bullion, ores and concentrates. Exports to the United States were up only 0.8% to $29.4 billion. As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed from $3.6 billion in June to $3.2 billion in July.

Exports to countries other than the United States fell 4.5% to $9.8 billion, mainly due to lower exports to the European Union (-15.9%). Imports from countries other than the United States decreased 3.1% to $13.9 billion, the trading area “all other countries” (-3.3%) and the European Union (-5.1%) contributing the most to the decline. Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States was unchanged from June to July at $4.1 billion.

Imports rise due to higher volumes

Imports of basic and industrial, chemical, plastic and rubber products increased 12.8% to a record high $3.6 billion, lubricants and other petroleum refinery products leading the gain. Imports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals grew 38.5% to $1 billion. Higher imports of other metal ores and concentrates (+44.6%), mainly precious metal ores and concentrates, and precious metal bullion, were the main contributors to the section’s growth. Imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products rose 7.3% to $3.4 billion, with unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys leading the gain (+ 19.9%).

Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts declined 18.1% to $1.1 billion, as imports of aircraft fell in July, after posting a large increase in June. Imports of energy products fell 14.2% to $3.2 billion, with imports of crude oil and crude bitumen (-14%) and refined petroleum energy products (-30.1%) leading the section’s decline.

Aircraft and unwrought precious metals and alloys contribute the most to the decline in exports

Exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts fell 22.8% to $1.3 billion, with aircraft being the main contributor to the section’s decline in July, after a large increase in June. Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products declined 7.3% to $4.4 billion, the main contributor being unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys (-15.8%). On the other hand, exports of forestry products and building and packaging materials rose 8.2% to $2.8 billion, led by pulp and paper stock (+9.6%), as well as lumber and other sawmill and millwork products (+10%). Exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products grew 10.5% to $2.3 billion in July, with wheat (+19.9%) and canola (+39.5%) posting the largest gains.

 How about South of the border ?

The US international trade deficit in goods and services increased from $34.5 billion in June to $39.1 billion in July, as exports decreased while imports increased. Exports decreased to $189.4 billion (from $190.5 billion) while imports increased to $228.6 billion (from $225.1 billion). The increase in imports of goods came mainly from industrial supplies and materials, automotive vehicles, parts and engines, consumer goods, other goods and foods, feeds and beverages. The decrease in exports of goods reflected decreases in capital goods, consumer goods, other goods and automotive vehicles, parts and engines but increases occurred in exports of industrial supplies and materials and foods, feeds and beverages. The US deficit with the European Union increased from $7.1 billion in June to $13.9 billion in July and the deficit with China increased as well from $26.6 billion to $30.1 billion.

And how about Canada’s trade with Belgium ?

Regarding trade with Belgium, Canadian exports amounted to $255 million in May, went down to $94 million in June and down again to $88 million in July.  Canadian imports from Belgium, on the other hand, went from $ 126 million in May, down to $119 million in June, then back up to $208 million in July.  Our bilateral trade has its ups and downs and it will be interesting to watch in the coming months.

Christian Sivière, christian.siviere@videotron.ca, All Rights Reserved September 2013. Source: Statistics Canada, U.S. Census Bureau

Canada's e i july 2013