Statistics Canada announced that the country’s merchandise trade increased substantially in March, with both imports and exports reaching record highs. Following a 4.8% increase in February, imports jumped a further 7.7% in March. Meanwhile, exports rose 6.3%, with energy products contributing more than half of the increase.
As a result, Canada’s merchandise trade surplus with the world narrowed from $3.1 billion in February to $2.5 billion in March.
The Federal Agency said total imports reached a record high of $61.1 billion. Gains were observed in 9 of 11 product categories, with 8 posting increases of more than $100 million.
Total exports climbed to a record $63.6 billion in March, surpassing the previous record set in February by nearly $4 billion. Excluding energy products, exports were up 4.0% in March.
On a per country basis, imports from countries other than the United States were up 11.5% in March, reaching a record $24.5 billion. Imports from China (+29.4%) posted the largest gain by far. Exports to those countries were up 1.9% in March to $14.4 billion, which also constitutes a record. There were higher exports to the United Kingdom (gold), Spain (pharmaceutical products), South Korea (coal) and Germany (various products). After the $7.9 billion deficit observed in February, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States reached a record $10.1 billion in March.
Exports to the United States increased by 7.7% in March, largely because of higher exports of crude oil. Meanwhile, imports from the United States increased by 5.4%, mainly because of higher imports of energy products and motor vehicles and parts. As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States widened from $10.9 billion in February to a record $12.6 billion in March.