Canadian trade deficit drops to $2.9 billion in February

Statistics Canada announced that the country’s merchandise trade deficit with the world was down slightly, from $3.1 billion in January to $2.9 billion in February.

The Federal agency says total exports were down 1.3% in February to $48.0 billion. Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products declined 6.6% to $5.2 billion. Exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals decreased 11.0% to $1.7 billion. Exports of motor vehicles and parts (-2.8%) were also down in February. Exports of energy products partially offset the overall decrease in February, up 11.7% to $9.3 billion.

Total imports declined 1.6% to $50.9 billion in February. Lower imports of gold which led to a 7.7% decrease in the metal and non-metallic mineral products section. Imports of electronic and electrical equipment and parts declined 3.8% to $5.8 billion. Notable import decreases were also observed in other product categories, including the industrial machinery, equipment and parts (-3.5%), consumer goods (-1.9%) and motor vehicles and parts (-1.9%) sections. Partially offsetting these decreases were higher imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts, up 6.3% to $2.8 billion.

On a per country perspective, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened from $5.7 billion in January to $6.4 billion in February.

Exports to those countries declined 14.0% to $11.7 billion. The widespread decreases were led by lower exports to the United Kingdom (gold), Saudi Arabia (other transportation equipment), Japan (canola and other crop products) and the Netherlands (iron ores, crude oil and coal). Imports from countries other than the United States also posted a strong decline, down 6.3% to $18.1 billion. A number of countries contributed to the decrease, including China (various products), Mexico (autos), Germany (autos) and the United Kingdom (aircraft and parts, energy products).

Exports to the United States rose 3.5% to $36.3 billion in February, primarily on higher exports of crude oil. Imports were up 1.2% to $32.8 billion, in part due to higher imports of aircraft.

As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States widened from $2.6 billion in January to $3.5 billion in February.

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