Canada’s trade balance drops to a $1.1 billion deficit in July

Statistics Canada announced that the country’s merchandise trade deficit with the world went from an essentially balanced position in June (slight deficit of $55 million) to a $1.1 billion deficit in July.

The Federal agency says that, following a 4.0% decrease in June, total imports rose 1.2% to $50.9 billion in July. Imports of consumer goods (+2.4%) contributed the most to the increase, driven by higher imports of pharmaceutical products (+19.7%), which hit a record high in July, mainly as a result of gains in imports from Switzerland and Germany. Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts (+10.2%) also contributed to the increase. Imports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals were up 12.6%.

After a strong decrease of 5.0% in June, total exports fell again in July, down 0.9% to $49.8 billion. Following a 6.7% decline in June, energy product exports fell by 6.7% again in July, as a result of lower crude oil exports (-7.7%). Exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products were down 5.4%. These declines were partially offset by an 8.5% increase in exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products.

On a per country basis, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened from $5.6 billion in June to $5.7 billion in July. Imports from those countries rose 0.5% to $18.4 billion. Higher imports from Switzerland (pharmaceutical products) and Belgium (parts for armoured vehicles and pharmaceutical products) were partially offset by lower imports from China (various products) and the United Kingdom (aircraft parts). Exports to countries other than the United States edged down 0.3% to $12.7 billion. Lower exports to China (metal ores and pork) were partially offset by higher exports to Hong Kong (gold).

Exports to the United States fell 1.1% in July, while imports from this country were up 1.6%. Following a strong surplus in May and June, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed to $4.6 billion in July.

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