Canada's Trade Surplus Widens in March

Canada's merchandise exports and imports both rose in March, as most sectors recorded gains. Exports increased 3.5% and imports grew 2.8%. As a result, Canada's trade surplus increased from $356 million in February to $627 million in March., Statistics Canada 5/11/2011 1:41:51 PM

Exports rose to $37.4 billion in March, as volumes, up 2.5%, increased in all sectors except agricultural and fishing products. At the same time, prices advanced 0.9%. Broad-based gains in the value of exports were led by energy products and industrial goods and materials.

Exports have generally been trending upwards since May 2009. Higher volumes have accounted for almost two-thirds of the growth during that period.

Imports increased to $36.7 billion, as volumes rose 3.2% while prices decreased 0.4%. Imports of automotive products, which largely accounted for the decline in February, were the main contributor to the gain in March. Increases were also recorded in imports of industrial goods and materials as well as machinery and equipment.

Overall, imports have been trending upwards since June 2009, as a result of higher volumes. Prices declined during that period.

Imports from the United States rose 3.2%, mostly a result of increases in imports of automotive products, while exports grew 1.9%, led by higher exports of crude petroleum. Consequently, Canada's trade surplus with the United States narrowed to $4.8 billion in March from $5.0 billion in February.

Exports to countries other than the United States rose 7.8% in March, largely reflecting higher exports to the European Union. During the same period, imports grew 2.1%. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States declined from $4.7 billion in February to $4.2 billion in March.