Canada’s international merchandise trade with focus on Belgium, March 2014 statistics

The latest figures released by Statistics Canada show that Canadian exports to Belgium, which amounted to a record $283 million in January and went down to $109 million in February, went down again slightly to $108 million in March. Canadian imports from Belgium, on their side, amounted to $133 million in January, were up to $205 million in February and up substantially to $277 million in March.  As we can see, our bilateral exchanges have ups and downs and it will be interesting to see their evolution in the months ahead.

Overall, Canada‘s merchandise exports declined 1.4% in March, with imports up 0.4%, bringing Canada’s trade surplus with the world from $847 million in February to $79 million in March. Exports declined to $42.7 billion. Energy products were the main contributor to the decline (-7.9%), following three consecutive months of significant increases. Exports of forest products and building and packaging materials declined 7.6% while exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products rose 8%.

Imports edged up to $42.6 billion, as increases in basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products (+6.3%) as well as consumer goods (+1.7%) were largely offset by declines in electronic and electrical equipment and parts (-2.6%) as well as energy products (-3.7%).

Exports to the United States declined 2.5% to $32.2 billion, mainly due to energy products, while imports from the United States rose 1% to $28.5 billion. Consequently, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed from $4.9 billion in February to $3.8 billion in March.

Exports to countries other than the United States rose 2.5% to $10.5 billion, led by the European Union (+8.5%). Imports from countries other than the United States declined 0.7% to $14.2 billion. Lower imports from the principal trading area “Other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries” (-9.5%) were largely offset by higher imports from the European Union (+7.1%). Canada’s trade deficit with these countries therefore went from $4 billion in February to $3.7 billion in March.

South of the border, the U.S. Census Bureau announced U.S. March exports of $193.9 billion and imports of $234.3 billion, resulting in a deficit of $40.4 billion, down from $41.9 billion in February. The February to March increase in U.S. exports reflected increases in capital goods, industrial supplies and materials, automotive vehicles and parts and foods and beverages, while consumer goods decreased. The increase in U.S. imports reflected increases in consumer goods, foods and beverages and capital goods. A decrease occurred in industrial supplies and materials, with automotive vehicles and parts virtually unchanged.

Christian Sivière    Christian.siviere@videotron.ca  
All Rights Reserved May 2014 Sources: Statistics Canada, U.S. Census Bureau

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