Canada's Trade Surplus Lowest Since 1999

The continued strength of the Canadian dollar in October spurred significant volume increases and price declines for both international merchandise imports and exports.

In constant dollar terms, which isolates volume changes, volumes for imports rose 2.7% as prices declined 4.6%. Meanwhile, export volumes were up 1.9% and prices fell 2.4%. On a current dollar basis, lower prices contributed to overall reductions in the value of Canadian imports and exports. Imports declined 2.0% to $34.0 billion, while exports edged down 0.5% to $37.4 billion, the third consecutive monthly decrease.

Nevertheless, for the first 10 months of 2007, both imports and exports were higher than for the same period in 2006.

As a result, the trade surplus with the world expanded to $3.3 billion in October, up from a revised $2.8 billion in September, which was the lowest level since February 1999.

The trade surplus with the United States narrowed to $6.2 billion—its lowest level since October 2006—as exports fell more sharply than imports.

The trade deficit with countries other than the United States contracted to $2.9 billion. This was due to rising exports and falling imports to all principal trading areas, except for Japan. Exports to countries other than the United States, which rose 5.6% in October, have been strong throughout 2007.

Imports decreased in October, the result of widespread declines in all sectors with the exception of machinery and equipment. Energy products and industrial goods and materials accounted for the majority of the decrease in terms of value.

Exports edged down for the third consecutive month in October. Decreases in agricultural and fishing products and energy products led the decline. In contrast, machinery and equipment recorded the largest increase in value.

Falling exports of petroleum and coal products pushed energy products downward 1.8% to $7.6 billion. Natural gas and crude petroleum also shrank. Volumes were down in all three components while the prices for petroleum and coal products and natural gas were up. The price of crude petroleum was down.

Canada, Statistics Canada
12/12/2007 7:37:32 AM