By Christian Sivière, Import Export Logistics Solutions TM, Montréal
Statistics Canada’s latest data shows that Canadian exports to Belgium, which amounted to $354 million in November and were down substantially in December to $196 million, went down again to $163 million in January. Canadian imports from Belgium on the other hand, which came to $111 million in November and were up slightly to $114 million in December, were slightly down to $110 million in January. So as these figures demonstrate, our bilateral trade is fluctuating and it will be interesting to see its evolution in the months ahead.
Overall, Canadian exports declined 2.8% in January while imports were unchanged from December. Therefore Canada’s trade deficit widened from $1.2 billion to $2.5 billion, the largest since the record $2.9 billion deficit of July 2012.
Canadian exports declined to $42.6 billion, as four of eleven sections decreased, with energy products, mainly crude oil and crude bitumen, being the main contributor to the decline (-23%). Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products were down 8.6%, unwrought precious metals and alloys down by 13.5% and unwrought aluminum products down by 20.4%, while exports of motor vehicles and parts were up 3.1%.
Canadian imports were virtually unchanged at $45.1 billion in January, with advances in five sections offset by declines in the other sections. Imports of electronic and electrical equipment rose 9.3%, while industrial machinery, equipment and parts increased 8.2%. On the other hand, imports of energy products fell 19.2%.
Exports to the United States declined 3.1% to $31.8 billion while exports to other countries were down 1.9%. The decrease was spread across most principal trading partners, led by lower exports to the Netherlands and Italy, while exports to the United Kingdom went up. Imports from the United States were down 0.1% but imports from other countries were up 0.2%, with increases from China partially offset by decreases from the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia. Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed from $2.2 billion to $1.2 billion, the lowest since 1992 while the deficit with other countries went from $3.4 billion to $3.7 billion.
South of the border, figures released by the U.S. Census bureau show that the U.S. goods and services deficit was $41.8 billion in January, down 9% from December. January exports came to $189.4 billion, down 3% from December, while January imports amounted to $231.2 billion, down 4%. The U.S. recorded surpluses with South and Central America but ran deficits with China, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India and Canada.
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Sources: Statistics Canada, U.S. Census Bureau