Canada’s trade deficit widens in December, narrows for full-year 2018

Wednesday, 06 March 2019 21:37:54 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego
       

According to Statistics Canada, Canada's exports declined 3.8 percent in December, almost entirely on lower exports of energy products, which were down as a result of falling crude oil prices. Imports were up 1.6 percent, mainly on higher imports of energy products. As a result, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world widened from $2.0 billion in November to a record $4.6 billion in December.

Total exports were down 3.8 percent to $46.3 billion in December, the fifth consecutive monthly decline since the record set in July. Exports have fallen 9.8 percent or by $5.0 billion since July, with energy products being responsible for 80 percent of the decrease. Excluding energy products, exports were essentially unchanged in December. Overall, export prices decreased 2.4 percent and volumes were down 1.4 percent.

Total imports rose 1.6 percent to $50.9 billion in December, mainly on higher volumes. Increased imports of energy products, motor vehicles and parts, and metal ores and non-metallic minerals were partially offset by lower imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts.

Imports from countries other than the United States rose 9.2 percent to a record $19.0 billion in December. Widespread increases were led by higher imports from Brazil (bauxite and aluminum oxide), China (various products) and the Russian Federation (crude oil).

Exports to countries other than the United States were down 4.2 percent to $12.6 billion. Lower exports to the United Kingdom and Hong Kong (gold in both cases) were partially offset by higher exports to China (various products). As a result, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened from $4.2 billion in November to $6.4 billion in December.

Following a 5.0 percent decrease in November, exports to the United States were down 3.6 percent to $33.7 billion in December, mostly on lower crude oil exports. Imports from the United States were down 2.4 percent to $31.9 billion, mainly on lower imports of aircraft. As a result, Canada's trade surplus with the United States narrowed from $2.2 billion in November to $1.8 billion in December. Comparing the average exchange rates, the Canadian dollar lost 1.4 US cents relative to the American dollar from November to December.

Annual imports for the full-year 2018 were up 5.7 percent to $607.1 billion in 2018 with increases in all product sections. Consumer goods and industrial machinery, equipment and parts posted the largest increases. Despite recent monthly declines, annual exports were up 6.5 percent to $585.4 billion, led by higher exports of energy products. Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world therefore narrowed from $24.6 billion in 2017 to $21.7 billion in 2018.


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