Canadian merchandise trade deficit narrows

Canada's exports rose 1.8% in August, mainly due to an increase in exports of energy products and aircraft

Canada’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed from $1.4 billion in July to $955 million in August, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency said on Friday that Canada’s exports rose 1.8 per cent in August, mainly due to an increase in exports of energy products and aircraft. Imports were up 1.0 per cent, mostly on higher imports of gold and crude oil.

Following two consecutive monthly declines, total exports increased 1.8 per cent to reach $50.6 billion in August. Gains were observed in eight of 11 product sections and non-energy exports were up 1.4 per cent. Year-to-date total exports in 2019 were up 2.4 per cent compared with the same period in 2018, said StatsCan.

“After two months of strong declines, exports of energy products rose 3.9 per cent in August. Exports of crude oil (+2.9 per cent) led the increase, on the strength of higher prices. Crude oil export volumes were down, following several months of high levels. Exports of nuclear fuel (+109.7 per cent) as well as refined petroleum products (+13.3 per cent) also increased in August,” it said.

StatsCan said total imports increased 1.0 per cent to $51.5 billion in August, with gains in seven of 11 product sections. Total imports in the first eight months of the year were up 2.0 per cent compared with the same period last year. 

“Higher imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products (+9.4 per cent) were the main contributor to the overall gain in August, mainly on imports of gold, which reached their highest level in more than two years. These imports reflected an increase in gold asset acquisitions by Canadian companies in August,” explained the federal agency.

“Imports of energy products (+9.7 per cent) also increased, mostly on higher imports of crude oil from the United States, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire. Higher imports of crude oil from abroad to Eastern Canadian refineries coincided with production disruptions in the Canadian North Atlantic oil platforms.”

It said exports to the United States rose 3.1 per cent in August, while imports were up 1.8 per cent. As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States widened from $4.4 billion in July to $4.9 billion in August.

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Merchandise trade deficit

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