Canada Trade Balance Swings to Surplus in May


Canada’s trade balance shifted to CAD 0.76 billion surplus in May 2019 from an upwardly revised CAD 1.08 billion in the previous month and compared with market expectations of a CAD 1.5 billion gap. It was the second trade surplus since December 2016, as exports rose 4.6 percent to a record high driven by motor vehicles and imports increased at a slower 1 percent mainly due to aircraft.

Exports increased 4.6 percent month-over-month to CAD 53.1 billion in May, hitting a record high, from an upwardly revised CAD 50.8 billion in April. Sales of motor vehicles and parts went up 12.4 percent to CAD 8.4 billion, namely passenger cars and light trucks (+17.8 percent) mainly due to higher Canadian motor vehicle production as activities at some assembly plants resumed following atypical shutdowns in April. Also, sales of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts advanced 33 percent to CAD 2.9 billion, as exports of boats and other transportation equipment almost quadrupled as a result of higher exports of other transportation equipment to Saudi Arabia; and aircraft (+40.2 percent) due to shipments of business jets and commercial aircraft, particularly to the US. In addition, sales of energy products rose 5 percent to CAD 10.8 billion, of which crude oil (+2.8 percent) and refined petroleum products (+20.4 percent).

Exports to the US jumped 3.7 percent to an all-time high of CAD 37.8 billion and sales to countries other than the US went up 7.3 percent to a record CAD 13.8 billion, in particular Saudi Arabia (other transportation equipment); Japan (copper, coal); South Korea (metal ores); and the Netherlands (energy products, iron ores) Meawhile, exports dropped to the UK (gold).

Imports advanced 1.2 percent over a month earlier to CAD 52.3 billion from an upwardly revised CAD 51.8 billion in April, boosted by higher purchases of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts (14.2 percent to CAD 2.2 billion) and motor vehicles and parts (1.6 percent to CAD 9.8 billion), as a result of increased production in assembly plants.

Imports from the US declined 0.5 percent to CAD 33.3 billion, while those from countries other than the US went up 3.7 percent to CAD 19 billion, of which Saudi Arabia (crude oil) and Norway (motor gasoline, crude oil) contributed the most to the overall increase.

The country's trade surplus with the US widened to CAD 5.9 billion in May from CAD 4.4 billion in the prior month, the largest surplus since October 2008.

Canada Trade Balance Swings to Surplus in May


Statistics Canada | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
7/3/2019 4:27:10 PM