Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 09:53

MNI DATA IMPACT: Canada March Trade Gap -C$3.2B

By Courtney Tower

OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's goods trade deficit in March was -C$3.2 billion, a narrowing from -C$3.4 billion in February but below the -C$ 2.4 billion the market had expected, Statistics Canada reported Thursday.

The -C$3.4 billion deficit for February was revised from -C$2.895 billion first reported. Exports were up 3.2% to $49.0 billion from C$47.5 billion in February, which was very slightly revised from C$47.97 billion. Imports were up 2.5% on the month at C$52.26 billion from a revised C$50.87 billion in February.

For the first quarter this year the picture worsens. The Canadian trade deficit rose from C$7.8 billion in Q4 2018 to C$10.4 billion in Q1, the largest deficit since Q2 2016.

In volume terms, exports decreased 2.4% in Q1, mainly on lower export volumes of energy products (-5.5%). Real imports were up the same 2.4% on a 6.7% increase in imports of motor vehicles and parts and a 31.9% increase in imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts.

On the month, total exports rose in nine of the 11 product sections, with export volumes up 2.6% and prices up 0.6%. All exports, excluding energy products, had declined 4.2% in February but rose 2.1% in March. Exports of energy products rose 7.7% led by a 5.0% increase in exports of crude oil.

Imports, up 2.5% on the month, rose in eight of the 11 sections. Volumes were up 1.3% and prices rose 1.2%. Consumer goods posted the largest increase in imports, up 6.7% to a record C$10.9 billion. Widespread increases were led by imports of clothing, footwear and accessories (+22.9%), mainly due to increased imports from Bangladesh and Cambodia. However, imports in this section edged down 0.4% in the first quarter this year from Q4 2018.

Exports to the United States sere up 1.3%in March, mainly on higher exports of motor vehicles and crude oil. Imports from the U.S. edged down 0.4%, mainly on lower imports of aircraft. The trade deficit with countries other than the United States grew from C$6.4 billion in February to a record C$6.8 billion in March.

--MNI Ottawa Bureau; tel: +1 202-371-2121; email:


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