Statistics Canada announced that the country’s merchandise imports rose 3%, in May while exports were down 3.8%.
With imports and exports posting strong variations in opposite directions, Canada’s merchandise trade balance went from a $894 million surplus in April to a $3.4 billion deficit in May, the largest deficit since October 2020.
Seven of the eleven export product sections posted decreases in May. Exports of energy products and farm, fishing and intermediate food products were responsible for more than two-thirds of the retreat. Following three consecutive monthly declines, total imports rose in May, with eight of the eleven product sections posting increases.
Exports to the United States decreased 2.9% in May, in part because of lower exports of crude oil. Imports from that country were up 1.3%, mainly on higher imports of motor vehicle engines and parts as well as aircraft. As a result, Canada’s merchandise trade surplus with the United States narrowed from $8.7 billion in April to $6.7 billion in May, the lowest surplus since May 2021.
Exports to countries other than the United States decreased 6.6% in May 2023 while imports from those countries rose 6.0%. Consequently, Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened from $7.8 billion in April to $10.2 billion in May