Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with the world widened from $891 million in September to $1.2 billion in October, according to Statistics Canada.
The federal agency said on Thursday that the country’s exports were down 1.2 per cent in October, principally on lower exports of crude oil. Imports were down 0.6 per cent, mainly due to fewer imports of passenger cars and light trucks.
“Exports of energy products fell 12.4 per cent to $8.8 billion in October. Exports of crude oil (-16.2 per cent) drove the decrease, offsetting most of the earlier gains in 2018. Crude oil export prices were down 15.4 per cent, the strongest monthly decrease since February 2016. The drop in October coincided with deepening price discounts for Canadian produced crude oil,” it said.
“Partially offsetting the overall decrease were higher exports of motor vehicles and parts, up 4.4 per cent to $7.8 billion. Passenger cars and light trucks (+6.6 per cent) contributed the most to the increase in October. This reflected a drawdown of motor vehicle inventories that had increased in recent months. Year to date, the cumulative value of exports of passenger cars and light trucks was down 7.6 per cent compared with the same period last year.”
StatsCan said total imports fell 0.6 per cent to $50.5 billion in October, the fourth decrease in the past five months. Year over year, total imports increased 9.6 per cent.
“Imports of motor vehicles and parts declined 3.5 per cent to $9.1 billion in October. There were lower imports of passenger cars and light trucks, down 5.8 per cent to $3.9 billion, the first time import levels have fallen below $4 billion since December 2016. This was the sixth decrease in the past seven months for imports of passenger cars and light trucks, reflecting lower auto sales in Canada in recent months. Moreover, imports of electric cars fell sharply in October after peaking in September, coinciding with the end of the rebate program in Ontario for these vehicles,” explained the federal agency.
“Imports from countries other than the United States fell 4.1 per cent to $17.1 billion in October. Contributing to the decrease were lower imports from China (various products), Japan (passenger cars and light trucks), the United Kingdom (motor gasoline) and Saudi Arabia (crude oil). Exports to countries other than the United States were up 2.3 per cent to $12.9 billion. Higher exports to Hong Kong (gold) and Japan (canola) were partially offset by lower exports to the United Kingdom (gold). As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed from $5.2 billion in September to $4.2 billion in October, the smallest deficit since December 2016.
“Exports to the United States fell 2.3 per cent to $36.5 billion, mainly on lower exports of crude oil. Imports were up 1.3 per cent to $33.4 billion. As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed from $4.3 billion in September to $3.1 billion in October, the smallest surplus since March 2018.”