The gain in imports halted four consecutive months of decline and was the result of an 8.7% rise in volumes as prices edged down 0.4%. Although the increases were widespread, machinery and equipment, automotive products and energy products were the main sources of growth.
The second consecutive monthly advance in exports was attributable to a 5.9% increase in volumes, as prices declined 2.4%. Higher exports of machinery and equipment and automotive products led the increase in overall exports. Declines in exports of energy products tempered the gain.
Canada's trade surplus with the United States shrank to $1.9 billion in July from $3.2 billion in June, as the growth in imports outpaced the increase in exports. Imports from the United States rose 9.9%, mainly as a result of higher imports of organic chemicals and aircraft. Exports were up 2.5%, mostly due to increases in exports of aircraft.
Imports and exports to countries other than the United States both advanced 5.7%, and the trade deficit with this group of countries grew to $3.4 billion in July from $3.2 billion in June.
Imports of machinery and equipment climbed 10.9% to $9.3 billion. Higher imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment were responsible for almost half of the gain in this sector.
After reaching the lowest levels in more than a decade in May and June, imports of automotive products increased 18.7% to $4.6 billion in July.
Imports of energy products rose 18.6% to $3.2 billion. Machinery and equipment account for almost three-quarters of the gain in exports
Exports of machinery and equipment rose 11.3% to $7.1 billion, largely the result of higher exports of aircraft followed by telecommunication equipment.
Automotive sector exports rose 10.8% to $3.2 billion. This value represented about one-third of the peak value registered in January 2000 and remained 39.5% below the July 2008 value. The gain was mainly due to increases in exports of motor vehicle parts. Exports of passenger autos and trucks also went up in July.
Exports of energy products declined 3.2% to $6.4 billion, the result of lower prices as volumes rose. Exports of crude petroleum, down 8.9%, were largely responsible for the decline in this sector while higher exports of natural gas mitigated the decline.