Canada's Trade Surplus Narrows in March

Canada's trade surplus declined to CAD 79 million in March from CAD 847 million in February as exports decreased 1.4 percent and imports reached a record high. Although the March figure was lower than expected, it was the second consecutive monthly surplus since the end of 2011.
Statistics Canada | Joana Taborda | 5/6/2014 2:13:52 PM
Exports declined to CAD 42.7 billion, with prices down 2.0 percent and volumes up 0.7 percent. Energy products were the main contributor to the overall decline in exports.

Sales of energy products fell 7.9 percent in March, following three consecutive months of significant increases. Crude oil and crude bitumen (-7.3 percent) and natural gas (-17.5 percent) were the main contributors to the decline in March, as well as to the previous three increases. Overall, prices (-4.8 percent) and volumes (-3.2 percent) were down.

Exports of forestry products and building and packaging materials declined 7.6 percent, entirely on volumes. Shipments of metal and non-metallic mineral products rose 8.0 percent, led by unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys (+20.3 percent). Overall, volumes were up 7.3 percent.

Exports to the United States declined 2.5 percent to CAD 32.2 billion, on lower values of energy products, while imports from the United States rose 1.0 percent to CAD 28.5 billion. Exports to countries other than the United States rose 2.5 percent to CAD 10.5 billion, led by the European Union, up 8.5 percent. 

Imports edged up to CAD 42.6 billion, as increases in basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products as well as consumer goods were largely offset by declines in electronic and electrical.

Imports from countries other than the United States declined 0.7 percent to CAD 14.2 billion. Lower imports from the principal trading area "Other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries" (-9.5 percent) were largely offset by higher imports from the European Union (+7.1 percent).