Statistics Canada announced that the country’s merchandise imports rose 3.7%, in December while exports were down 0.9%.
As a result, after posting six consecutive monthly surpluses, Canada’s merchandise trade balance returned to a deficit position. It moved from a surplus of $2.5 billion in November to a deficit of $137 million in December.
Total imports rose to a record $57.7 billion. This was the third consecutive monthly increase, and gains were observed in 8 of the 11 product sections.
Imports of electronic and electrical equipment and parts posted the largest increase in December, rising 16.2% to an all-time high of $7.0 billion. Imports of motor vehicles and parts rose 5.1% in to $8.9 billion, their highest level since February 2020 and imports of basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products rose 6.2% to a record $5.0 billion in December, a third consecutive monthly increase.
Total exports fell to $57.6 billion, despite the fact that increases were observed in a majority of product sections. Exports of energy products fell 5.9% in December, the first monthly decline since April. Partly offsetting these declines was a 4.3% increase in exports of consumer goods in December, primarily on stronger exports of pharmaceutical products (+16.5%).