Canadian international merchandise trade, June 2012
Canada's merchandise imports rose 2.3% while exports edged up 0.2% in June. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with the world widened from $954 million in May to $1.8 billion in June.
Exports and imports
Imports continued their upward trend and reached a record high of $40.9 billion in June. Overall, six out of seven sectors registered gains, the main contributor being the machinery and equipment sector. Volumes (+2.5%) were up in all sectors.
Exports increased to $39.1 billion. Volumes rose 1.1%, while prices decreased 0.9%. A strong gain in exports of automotive products helped offset declines in five out of seven sectors.
Imports from the United States grew 3.0% to a record high of $25.9 billion in June, a third consecutive monthly increase. Exports rose 2.2% to $29.0 billion. This narrowed the trade surplus with the United States from $3.2 billion in May to $3.1 billion in June.
Imports from countries other than the United States increased 1.1% to $15.0 billion. Exports to countries other than the United States fell for the third consecutive month, down 5.2% to $10.1 billion. Consequently, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened from $4.2 billion in May to $4.9 billion in June.
Machinery and equipment leads imports
Imports of machinery and equipment increased 3.2% to a record high of $11.2 billion in June. Volumes were up 3.0%. Imports of other machinery and equipment led the gain in the sector, followed by industrial and agricultural machinery.
Imports of other consumer goods rose 4.7% to $5.3 billion. Imports of miscellaneous end products, mainly medicinal and pharmaceutical products, led the gain on higher volumes.
Imports of industrial goods and materials rose 2.3% to $8.5 billion, the third consecutive monthly increase. Widespread gains throughout the sector were led by imports of plastic materials and other iron and steel products.
The only sector to decline in June was energy products, down 3.6% to $4.2 billion. Prices fell 9.2%. Imports of crude petroleum decreased 18.2% to $2.2 billion, as both volumes and prices fell. In contrast, petroleum and coal products registered strong gains in volumes, mainly on higher imports of light oils and preparations.
Strong gains in exports of automotive products
Exports of automotive products rose 13.9% to $6.3 billion in June as volumes were up 13.2%. The main factor was exports of passenger autos and chassis, which increased 19.5% to $4.3 billion, the highest level since January 2006.
Exports of energy products fell 3.5% to $9.0 billion, as prices fell for the fifth consecutive month. The main contributor was crude petroleum exports, which declined 5.3% to $5.6 billion.
Exports of agricultural and fishing products declined 2.8% to $3.5 billion, the lowest level since August 2011. Leading the decline was a 27.4% decrease in wheat exports, on lower volumes.
In the machinery and equipment sector, exports declined 1.3% to $7.2 billion as volumes fell 2.5%. Lower exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment were the main contributor to the decline.
Note to readers
Merchandise trade is one component of Canada's international balance of payments (BOP), which also includes trade in services, investment income, current transfers as well as capital and financial flows.
International merchandise trade data by country are available on both a BOP and a customs basis for the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom. Trade data for all other individual countries are available on a customs basis only. BOP data are derived from customs data by making adjustments for factors such as valuation, coverage, timing and residency. These adjustments are made to conform to the concepts and definitions of the Canadian System of National Accounts.
Data in this release are on a BOP basis, seasonally adjusted and in current dollars. Constant dollars are calculated using the Laspeyres volume formula.
For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.
New aggregation structure
Statistics Canada will introduce the North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) for merchandise import and export statistics. The new structure will replace the classification structures known as the summary import groups (SIG) and the summary export groups (SEG) and the higher level aggregations (major groups, subsectors, sectors and sections) that have been in use for several decades.
Revised data based on NAPCS for the reference period of January 1988 to August 2012 will be disseminated on October 18.
The first regular release of data based on NAPCS will be on November 8 for the September reference month.
Readers interested in this upcoming change can find more detailed information on our web page dedicated to classification consultation and notification.
In general, merchandise trade data are revised on an ongoing basis for each month of the current year. Current year revisions are reflected in both the customs and BOP based data.
The previous year's customs data are revised with the release of the January and February reference months as well as on a quarterly basis. The previous two years of customs based data are revised annually and are released in February with the December reference month.
The previous year's BOP based data will be revised with the release of the January, February, March and April 2012 reference months.
Factors influencing revisions include late receipt of import and export documentation, incorrect information on customs forms, replacement of estimates produced for the energy sector with actual figures, changes in classification of merchandise based on more current information, and changes to seasonal adjustment factors.
Revised data are available in the appropriate CANSIM tables, free of charge.
The merchandise imports and exports data in the following tables are presented in dollar values.
Tables 228-0001 to 228-0003: Customs and balance of payments basis, by major groups and principal trading areas for all countries; monthly, quarterly and annual.
Table 228-0033: Imports, customs-based, by province of clearance; monthly.
Table 228-0034: Domestic exports, customs-based, by province of origin; monthly.
Tables 228-0041 to 228-0043: Customs and balance of payments basis, by sector and subsector, for all countries; monthly, quarterly and annual.
The merchandise imports and exports data in the following tables are indexes (2002=100).
Tables 228-0047 to 228-0049: Balance of payments and customs-based price and volume indexes for all countries; monthly, quarterly and annual.
Tables 228-0050 to 228-0052: Customs-based price indexes, Canada and United States trade, and Standard International Trade Classification (SITC revision 3) price indexes for all countries and United States; monthly, quarterly and annual.
Tables 228-0053 to 228-0055: Price and volume indexes customs and balance of payments basis, by sector and subsector, for all countries; monthly, quarterly and annual.
Tables 228-0056 and 228-0057: Balance of payments basis, by sector, seasonally adjusted, Fisher formula, chained 2002 dollars, for all countries; monthly and quarterly.
These data are available in the Canadian international merchandise trade database.
The June 2012 issue of Canadian International Merchandise Trade, Vol. 66, no. 6 (Catalogue number65-001-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.
Current account data (which incorporate merchandise trade statistics, service transactions, investment income and transfers) are available quarterly in Canada's Balance of International Payments (Catalogue number67-001-X, free).
Data on Canadian international merchandise trade for July will be released on September 11.
For more information, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 613-951-8116; firstname.lastname@example.org).
To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Marc Nadeau (613-951-3692), International Trade Division.
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