Canada Trade Deficit Widens in February

Canada's merchandise trade deficit widened to CAD 2.69 billion in February of 2018 from an upwardly revised CAD 1.94 billion in January and above market expectations of a CAD 2.1 billion deficit. Imports advanced 1.9 percent month-over-month, mostly due to higher purchases of energy products. Exports rose 0.4 percent, mainly due to higher sales of passenger cars and light trucks.

Total imports increased 1.9 percent month-over-month in February to CAD 48.6 billion, after dropping 4.3 percent in the previous month. Purchases of energy products advanced 15.4 percent to CAD 3.4 billion, the highest rise since November of 2014. Additionally imports of crude oil and crude bitumen rose 15.4 percent and purchases of refined petroleum energy products went up 24.1 percent, partially due to higher imports of motor gasoline in British Columbia. Also, imports of motor vehicles and parts rebounded (+1.7 percent to CAD 9.4 billion). On the other hand, purchases fell for metal ores and non-metallic minerals (-11.9 percent), namely gold and in the metal and non-metallic mineral (-3.0 percent). Lower imports of both gold bullion and unwrought gold were manily due to disruptions in gold mining activity, particularly in Argentina and the Dominican Republic. Year over year, total imports increased 3.5 percent.

Imports from the United States rose 3.3 percent to CAD 32.1 billion, led by higher imports of aircraft. Purchases from countries other than the United States fell 0.6 percent to CAD 16.6 billion, as imports of gold from the Dominican Republic and Argentina dropped.

Exports rose 0.4 percent month-over-month to CAD 45.9 billion in February. Sales of motor vehicles and parts, and aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts went up 5.0 percent to CAD 7.5 billion, mainly passenger cars and light trucks (+6.7 percent) and after plant closures in January. In addition, exports of aircraft, other transportation equipment and parts increased 19.6 percent to CAD 1.7 billion, rebounding from a 21.9 percent fall in the prior month. In contrast, sales of farm, fishing and intermediate food products declined 17.2 percent to CAD 2.4 billion, the largest drop on record, namely wheat (-41.6 percent) and canola (-40.1 percent). Also, sales of metal and non-metallic minerals decreased in February, down 7.2 percent to CAD 5.2 billion, mainly unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys (-34.3 percent), as shipments of unwrought gold to the United Kingdom dropped. Exports excluding energy products went up 0.7 percent. Year over year, total exports rose 1.5 percent. 

Exports to the United States increased 1.9 percent to CAD 34.6 billion, mostly due to higher sales of passenger cars and light trucks. Sales to countries other than the United States went down 4.2 percent to CAD 11.3 billion, due to lower exports of unwrought gold to the United Kingdom.

Canada Trade Deficit Widens in February

Statistics Canada | Stefanie Moya |
4/5/2018 1:29:23 PM