Canadian international merchandise trade, February 2013 statistics

Statistics juste released by Statscan reveal that Canada’s merchandise exports decreased 0.6% in February, while imports edged up 0.1%. As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with the world widened from $746 million in January to $1 billion in February.

Exports decreased to $38.5 billion, as volumes were down 0.6%. Overall, exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products contributed the most to the decline. This was partially offset by an increase in motor vehicles and parts.

Imports edged up to $39.5 billion, as volumes declined 0.4%. Increases in 7 of the 11 import sections were mostly offset by a large decrease of energy products.

Exports to the United States decreased 1.1% to $28.4 billion, while imports were up 0.8% to $25 billion. Consequently, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States decreased from $3.9 billion in January to $3.4 billion in February.

Exports to countries other than the United States increased 0.9% to $10.1 billion. Imports declined 0.9% to $14.5 billion. As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed from $4.6 billion in January to $4.4 billion in February.

Metal and non-metallic mineral products section leads decline in exports

Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products declined 7% to $4.7 billion, the main contributor to the decline was exports of unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys.  After three consecutive monthly increases, exports of basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products decreased 4.3% to $2.8 billion. Lower volumes of dyes and pigments; petrochemicals (-23.8%) and basic chemicals (-19.6%) led the decline, while higher exports of lubricants and other petroleum refinery products partially offset the decline. Exports of electronic and electrical equipment were down 5.2% to $1.8 billion. Widespread decreases were recorded throughout the section, led by lower exports of communications and audio and video equipment as well as electronic and electrical parts. Exports of motor vehicles and parts rose 5.6% to $5.4 billion, led by higher volumes of passenger cars and light trucks (+4.4%).

Rise in imports moderated by decline in energy products. 

Imports of motor vehicles and parts increased 5.5% to $6.8 billion, the gain being split between passenger cars and light trucks and motor vehicle engines and motor vehicle parts. Imports of basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products rose 10.3% to $3.4 billion. The increase was led by a 48.5% gain in volumes of lubricants and other petroleum refinery products. Also contributing to the overall gain were higher imports of basic chemicals and of fertilizer, pesticide and other chemical products. Widespread increases led imports of consumer goods to rise 2.3% to a record high of $8 billion.

Imports of energy products fell 19.3% to $3.5 billion, with imports of crude oil and crude bitumen leading the overall decrease.

In the United States, the opposite happened as the U.S. international trade deficit decreased from $44.5 billion in January to $43 billion in February, as exports increased more than imports.

How about Canada’s trade with Belgium ?

Regarding trade with Belgium, Canadian exports went from $141 million in December, down to $81 million in January and down again to $62 million in February.  Canadian imports from Belgium, on the other hand, went from $110 million in December, down to $84 million in January and back up to $118  million in February.  After a slow start in January, Belgian exports are going in the right direction and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

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

Canada’s exports and imports

CS Ex and imp april 2013