Canada’s trade balance drops to a $416 million deficit in September

Statistics Canada announced that the country’s merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed to $416 million in September from $551 million in August. Imports fell 0.4%, while exports edged down 0.2%.

The Federal agency revised its August data as the $526 million trade surplus reported for that month has turned into a $551 million deficit. Most of this revision was due to the import of three high value ships (three ice breakers from Sweden) which were reported after the publication of August data.

Total imports fell 0.4% to $50.8 billion in September. Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts fell 28.3% due to a $598 million decrease in imports of ships. Excluding the imports of these ships in August, total imports would have risen 0.8% in September. Imports of energy products fell 11.5% to $3.0 billion.

September exports edged down 0.2% in to $50.4 billion as exports of consumer goods decreased 3.9% to $6.0 billion in September. Higher exports of energy products (+2.3%) partially offset the overall decrease in September.

On a per country basis, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed from $5.6 billion in August to $5.2 billion in September. Imports from those countries fell 3.3% to $17.7 billion. Lower imports from Sweden led the decline, mainly on decreased imports of ships (the ice breakers). Exports to countries other than the United States fell 1.8% to $12.5 billion in September. Many countries contributed to the decrease, including Hong Kong (gold), Italy (crude oil), India (copper ores and radioactive ores) and Spain (crude oil). These declines were partially offset by a sharp increase in exports to China (gold).

Imports from the United States rose 1.2% to $33.1 billion, partly on the strength of higher imports of gold. Exports were up 0.4% to $37.8 billion. As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed from $5.0 billion in August to $4.8 billion in September.

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