Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.
Canadian international merchandise trade, January 2017Thursday, March 09, 2017 > 12:06:26
Canada's merchandise trade balance with the world posted a third consecutive monthly surplus, widening from $447 million in December to $807 million in January. Exports were up 0.5% on the strength of higher exports of motor vehicles and canola. Imports edged down 0.3% in January, mainly due to lower imports of unwrought gold.
Exports reach record high
Total exports increased 0.5% to a record $46.5 billion in January, despite declines in 6 of 11 sections. Volumes rose 1.0% while prices were down 0.5%. Higher exports of motor vehicles and parts, as well as farm, fishing and intermediate food products were the largest contributors to the increase.
These increases were partially offset by declines in exports of consumer goods, as well as metal and non-metallic mineral products. In January, exports excluding energy products rose 0.9%. Year over year, total exports increased 1.8%.
Following a 6.7% decrease in December, related to a higher proportion of motor vehicles destined for the domestic market, exports of motor vehicles and parts rose 7.7% to $7.8 billion in January. Exports of passenger cars and light trucks, up 12.3% to $5.4 billion, contributed the most to the January increase.
Exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products also contributed to the overall increase in January, advancing 12.8% to a record high of $3.1 billion, on larger volumes. Canola exports rose 38.4% to a record high of $845 million and have more than doubled since October. These gains reflected higher Chinese demand for Canadian canola.
Metals lead the drop in imports
Total imports edged down 0.3% in January to $45.6 billion, with 7 of 11 sections posting declines. Prices decreased 2.7%, while volumes rose 2.5%. The decline in imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products, as well as industrial machinery, equipment and parts was partially offset by higher imports of motor vehicles and parts. Year over year, total imports were down 2.1%.
Following a 7.5% increase in December, imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products fell 5.5% to $3.8 billion in January, largely due to lower imports of unwrought gold. Overall, volumes were down 3.2% and prices decreased 2.4%.
Imports of motor vehicles and parts were up 3.6% in January to $8.9 billion, returning to October levels. Imports of passenger cars and light trucks, which rose 10.9% in January to reach $4.1 billion, were behind this gain, mainly attributable to higher imports from the United States and the United Kingdom. This was the largest percentage increase since September 2010.
Increased exports to the United States
Exports to the United States rose 2.3% to $34.6 billion in January, led by higher exports of passenger cars and light trucks. Imports from the United States edged up 0.3% to $30.1 billion. As a result, Canada's trade surplus with the United States widened from $3.8 billion in December to $4.5 billion in January. The Canadian dollar gained 0.8 cents US relative to the US dollar in January.
Exports to countries other than the United States fell 4.4% to $11.8 billion in January. Lower exports to Switzerland (-$298 million) and Spain (-$200 million)—both due to fewer aircraft exports—contributed to the decline.
Imports from countries other than the United States decreased 1.3% to $15.5 billion in January. Imports from Japan fell $273 million on lower imports of passenger cars and light trucks. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened from $3.4 billion in December to $3.7 billion in January. Canada recorded a surplus with 4 of its 10 principal trading partners in January.
Higher real imports
In real (or volume) terms, imports rose 2.5%, largely on higher imports of motor vehicles and parts, energy products, and electronic and electrical equipment and parts. Export volumes were up 1.0% in January, on higher real exports of motor vehicles and parts. Consequently, Canada's trade surplus with the world in real terms narrowed from $1.7 billion in December to $1.2 billion in January.