Canada’s merchandise trade deficit widened to CAD 4.59 billion in December 2018 from a downwardly revised CAD 1.98 billion in the previous month and compared with market expectations of a CAD 2.8 billion gap. It was the largest trade shortfall on record, as exports dropped 3.8 percent mainly due to lower sales of energy products amid falling crude oil prices and imports rose 1.6 percent driven by purchases of energy products. In 2018, the country trade gap narrowed to CAD 21.7 billion from CAD 24.6 billion in 2017. Balance of Trade in Canada averaged 1311.27 CAD Million from 1971 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 8524.80 CAD Million in January of 2001 and a record low of -4593.40 CAD Million in December of 2018.

Balance of Trade in Canada is expected to be -1500.00 CAD Million by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in Canada to stand at -3400.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Canada Balance of Trade is projected to trend around 3200.00 CAD Million in 2020, according to our econometric models.

Canada Balance of Trade
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Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-11-02 12:30 PM Balance of Trade C$-0.42B C$-0.55B C$0.15B C$ 0.4B
2018-12-06 01:30 PM Balance of Trade C$-1.17B C$-0.89B C$-0.7B C$ -0.3B
2019-01-08 01:30 PM Balance of Trade C$-2.06B C$-0.85B C$-1.95B
2019-03-06 01:30 PM Balance of Trade C$-4.59B C$-1.98B C$-2.8B C$-1.7B
2019-03-27 12:30 PM Balance of Trade C$-4.59B C$-3.5B C$-3.9B
2019-04-17 12:30 PM Balance of Trade C$-2.8B
2019-05-09 12:30 PM Balance of Trade C$-1.5B



Canada Trade Gap Hits Record High

Canada’s merchandise trade deficit widened to CAD 4.59 billion in December 2018 from a downwardly revised CAD 1.98 billion in the previous month and compared with market expectations of a CAD 2.8 billion gap. It was the largest trade shortfall on record, as exports dropped 3.8 percent mainly due to lower sales of energy products amid falling crude oil prices and imports rose 1.6 percent driven by purchases of energy products. In 2018, the country trade gap narrowed to CAD 21.7 billion from CAD 24.6 billion in 2017.

Exports declined 3.8 percent to CAD 46.3 billion in December, the fifth consecutive monthly decrease since the record set in July, mainly due to a fall in sales of energy products (-21.4 percent to CAD 6.4 billion), the lowest level since July 2016. Crude oil exports went down 28.7 percent to CAD 3.3 billion, down by more than half since peaking in July 2018. Additionally, sales fell for metal and non-metallic mineral products (-9.8 percent to CAD4.9 billion), driven by lower exports of gold to the UK and Hong Kong. On the other hand, sales of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts rose 16.0 percent to CAD 2.4 billion, mostly on increased exports of aircraft engines to the US. Excluding energy products, exports were essentially unchanged in December.

Exports to the US dropped 3.6 percent to CAD 33.7 billion, mainly due to lower sales of crude oil. Exports to countries other than the US decreased 4.2 percent to CAD 12.6 billion, as lower sales to the UK and Hong Kong (gold in both cases) were partially offset by higher sales to China. 

Imports went up 1.6 percent to CAD 50.9 billion, boosted by higher purchases of energy products (19.7 percent to CAD 3.3 billion) as refined petroleum energy products (+33.2 percent) contributed the most to the increase, mainly on higher imports of diesel and biodiesel fuels. This coincided with recent maintenance and turnaround work at some Canadian refineries, increasing the demand for foreign refined petroleum energy products. Also, imports rose for motor vehicles and parts (4.0 percent to CAD 9.4 billion) led by passenger cars and light trucks (+8.7 percent); and metal ores and non-metallic minerals (32.8 percent to a record high of CAD 1.4 billion) of which other metal ores and concentrates (+43.0 percent) amid higher purchases of bauxite and aluminum oxide from Brazil. Meanwhile, imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts declined 24.9 percent to CAD 1.7 billion, namely aircrafts (-75.9 percent).

Imports from the US fell 2.4 percent to CAD 31.9 billion, mainly on lower pruchases of aircraft. Imports from countries other than the US advanced 9.2 percent to a record CAD 19.0 billion in December. Widespread increases were led by higher imports from Brazil, China and Russia.

In 2018, the country trade gap narrowed to CAD 21.7 billion from CAD 24.6 billion in 2017.


Statistics Canada | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
3/6/2019 2:11:48 PM



Canada Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -4593.40 -1979.60 8524.80 -4593.40 CAD Million [+]
Current Account -15483.00 -10108.00 12230.00 -20197.00 CAD Million [+]
Current Account to GDP -3.00 -3.30 2.70 -4.20 percent [+]
Imports 50902.20 50098.60 51817.90 1112.00 CAD Million [+]
Exports 46308.80 48119.00 51344.60 1366.00 CAD Million [+]
External Debt 2691144.00 2550999.00 2691144.00 795408.00 CAD Million [+]
Terms of Trade 87.40 92.30 108.50 79.10 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 17199.00 8909.00 50326.00 -8640.00 CAD Million [+]
Capital Flows -27.00 0.00 4632.00 -672.00 CAD Million [+]
Gold Reserves 0.00 0.00 46.20 0.00 Tonnes [+]
Crude Oil Production 4225.00 4329.00 4329.00 955.00 BBL/D/1K [+]
Terrorism Index 3.53 2.96 3.53 0.65 [+]
Tourist Arrivals 1491861.00 2145219.00 7006165.00 1138895.00 [+]
Weapons Sales 87.00 144.00 469.00 38.00 USD Million [+]

Exports by Country  |   Exports by Category  |   Imports by Country  |   Imports by Category



Canada Balance of Trade

Between 1970 and 2008 Canada had been recording trade surpluses every year. From 2009 the trade balance shifted to deficit, with an exception of 2011 and 2014. In 2018, the largest trade deficits were recorded with China, Germany and Mexico, while the biggest trade surpluses were recorded with the US, the UK and Norway. This page provides the latest reported value for - Canada Balance of Trade - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. Canada Balance of Trade - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on March of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-4593.40 -1979.60 8524.80 -4593.40 1971 - 2018 CAD Million Monthly




Country Last Previous
Argentina 372.00 Jan/19
Australia 4549.00 Jan/19
Brazil 3670.00 Feb/19
Canada -4593.40 Dec/18
China 41.18 Feb/19
Euro Area 1547.90 Jan/19
France -4195.00 Jan/19
Germany 14500.00 Jan/19
India -9600.00 Feb/19
Indonesia 329.50 Feb/19
Italy 321.80 Jan/19
Japan 339.00 Feb/19
Mexico -4809.60 Jan/19
Netherlands 2868.00 Jan/19
Russia 13368.00 Jan/19
Saudi Arabia 184673.00 Sep/18
Singapore 5198.50 Feb/19
South Africa -13082.76 Jan/19
South Korea 3098.00 Feb/19
Spain -4483276.00 Jan/19
Switzerland 2037.56 Feb/19
Turkey -2503.45 Jan/19
United Kingdom -3825.00 Jan/19
United States -59769.00 Dec/18


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