Total exports rose 3.9 percent to CAD 45.4 billion in December. Exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts rose 26.4 percent, as aircraft exports were up 64.4 percent. Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products increased 8.5 percent, due to higher sales of unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys of 32.7 percent. Exports of consumer goods were up 6.4 percent, led by pharmaceutical and medicinal products, which rose 26.4 percent. In addition, exports of motor vehicles and parts increased 4.6 percent, as sales of passenger cars and light trucks rose 7.5 percent, the highest export value since January 2000. Partially offsetting these gains, exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals fell 20.1 percent.
Total imports increased 1.6 percent to CAD 45.9 billion, following three consecutive monthly decreases. Imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products rose 5.4 percent, driven by unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys, up 18.4 percent. Imports of consumer goods increased 2 percent, led by higher imports of miscellaneous goods and supplies (+4.1 percent) and clothing, footwear and accessories (+3.3 percent). Energy products imports rose 7.9 percent, due to higher purchases of crude oil and crude bitumen by 31.4 percent while those of refined petroleum energy products dropped 21.2 percent.
In 2015, Canada's annual merchandise trade balance with the world shifted to a deficit of $23.3 billion in 2015 from a surplus of $4.8 billion in 2014, as exports fell by 0.9 percent while imports rose 4.4 percent. However, in real (or volume) terms, exports surpassed imports. Real exports rose 4.0% and imports were up 1.1% in 2015. As a result, Canada's annual trade balance in real terms shifted from a deficit of $10.3 billion in 2014 to a surplus of $3.1 billion in 2015.