Canadian international merchandise trade, November 2012, with a focus on trade with Belgium

This guest post by Christian Sivière, President at Solutions Import Export Logistique, comes from a recent article he published on Canada’s international trade, zooming in on trade with Belgium.  Reprinted with permission of the author.

Data just released by Statistics Canada reveals Canada’s merchandise imports rose 2.7% in November, while exports decreased 0.9%. As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with the world widened substantially from $552 million in October to $2 billion in November.

Imports rose to $39.5 billion, as volumes increased 2.2%. Electronic and electrical equipment and parts led the gain in overall imports, followed closely by motor vehicles and parts as well as metal and non-metallic mineral products. Exports declined to $37.5 billion, as prices were down 1.3%. Exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products as well as metal and non-metallic mineral products contributed the most to the overall decline.Exports to the United States grew 3.9% to $28.3 billion. Imports from the United States rose 1.7% to $25 billion, the third consecutive monthly increase. Consequently, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States increased from $2.7 billion in October to $3.3 billion in November.

Exports to countries other than the United States fell 13.4% to $9.2 billion, the lowest level since September 2010. Imports rose 4.6% to $14.5 billion bringing Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States from $3.2 billion in October to a record $5.3 billion in November.

Imports up due to higher volumes 

Imports of electronic and electrical equipment and parts rose 5.6% to $4.6 billion, with widespread increases recorded throughout the section. Imports of communications and audio and video equipment (+14.2%), primarily cellular telephones led the gain. Registering their first increase in five months, imports of motor vehicles and parts grew 3.5% to $6.9 billion in November. Higher imports of motor vehicle engines and motor vehicle parts (+4.1%) and passenger cars and light trucks (+4.0%) accounted for most of the monthly gain. Imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products increased 6.8% to $3.7 billion and imports of unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys were up 14.4%. Imports of basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products grew 6.7% to $3.2 billion while basic chemicals imports rose 20.1% in November. Imports of energy products decreased 3.7% to $3.5 billion, as volumes fell 4%. Imports of refined petroleum energy products, mainly motor gasoline, fell 13.2%.

Farm, fishing and intermediate food products lead the decline in exports

After reaching a record high in October, exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products fell 14.6% to $2.3 billion, as widespread declines were registered throughout the section. Leading the overall decline were exports of canola (-32.5%) and other crop products (-15.7%). Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products decreased 7.6% to $4.2 billion. The main contributor to the decline was unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys, as volumes fell 24.3%. Following four consecutive monthly decreases, exports of motor vehicles and parts grew 6.6% to $6 billion, with passenger cars and light trucks accounting for most of the gain ( + 8.8%).

Exports of basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products increased 7.5% to $2.7 billion with lubricants and other petroleum refinery products (+26%) and dyes and pigments and petrochemicals (+26.1%) leading the gain.

How about our neighbours South of the border?

Statistics just out by the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that the United States international trade deficit in goods and services increased from $42.1 billion in October to $48.7 billion in November , as imports increased more than exports.

Geographically, the U.S. goods deficit with China decreased from $29.5 billion in October to $29 billion in November. Exports decreased $0.2 billion (primarily nonferrous metals and oilseeds and food oils) to $10.6 billion, while imports decreased $0.7 billion (primarily apparel and footwear) to $39.5 billion.

The goods deficit with Canada increased from $1.7 billion in October to $3.3 billion in November. Exports decreased $1.2 billion (primarily generators, passenger cars, and electric apparatus) to $24.7 billion, while imports increased $0.1 billion (primarily fuel oil) to $27.7 billion.

The goods deficit with Mexico increased from $4.4 billion in October to $4.9 billion in November. Exports decreased $1.6 billion (primarily petroleum products, computer accessories, and soybeans) to $18.8 billion, while imports decreased $1.1 billion (primarily crude oil, automotive parts and accessories, and computers) to $23.7 billion.

Statistics just out by the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that the United States international trade deficit in goods and services increased from $42.1 billion in October to $48.7 billion in November , as imports increased more than exports.

Geographically, the U.S. goods deficit with China decreased from $29.5 billion in October to $29 billion in November. Exports decreased $0.2 billion (primarily nonferrous metals and oilseeds and food oils) to $10.6 billion, while imports decreased $0.7 billion (primarily apparel and footwear) to $39.5 billion.

The goods deficit with Canada increased from $1.7 billion in October to $3.3 billion in November. Exports decreased $1.2 billion (primarily generators, passenger cars, and electric apparatus) to $24.7 billion, while imports increased $0.1 billion (primarily fuel oil) to $27.7 billion.

The goods deficit with Mexico increased from $4.4 billion in October to $4.9 billion in November. Exports decreased $1.6 billion (primarily petroleum products, computer accessories, and soybeans) to $18.8 billion, while imports decreased $1.1 billion (primarily crude oil, automotive parts and accessories, and computers) to $23.7 billion.

And how about Canada’s trade with Belgium?

Regarding trade with Belgium, Canadian exports went from $178 million in September, down to $134 million in October and down again to $121 million in November. Canadian imports from Belgium, on the other hand, went from $163 million in September, down to $117 million in October and back up to $159 million in November. Our bilateral trade remains stable, with peaks and valleys and it will be interesting to see its evolution in the months ahead.

Canada’s exports and imports

Canada exports and imports

Christian Sivière Import Export Logistics Solutions TM, Montréal christian.siviere@videotron.ca All Rights Reserved January 2013                               Sources : Statistics Canada, United States Census Bureau