Canadian international merchandise trade, November 2012
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Canada's merchandise imports rose 2.7% in November, while exports decreased 0.9%. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with the world widened from $552 million in October to $2.0 billion in November.
Exports and imports
Imports rose to $39.5 billion, as volumes increased 2.2%. Electronic and electrical equipment and parts led the gain in overall imports, followed closely by motor vehicles and parts as well as metal and non-metallic mineral products.
Exports declined to $37.5 billion, as prices were down 1.3%. Exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products as well as metal and non-metallic mineral products contributed the most to the overall decline.
Exports to the United States grew 3.9% to $28.3 billion. Imports from the United States rose 1.7% to $25.0 billion, the third consecutive monthly increase. Consequently, Canada's trade surplus with the United States increased from $2.7 billion in October to $3.3 billion in November.
Exports to countries other than the United States fell 13.4% to $9.2 billion, the lowest level since September 2010. Imports rose 4.6% to $14.5 billion. As a result, Canada reached a record trade deficit with countries other than the United States, increasing from $3.2 billion in October to $5.3 billion in November.
Imports up on higher volumes
Imports of electronic and electrical equipment and parts rose 5.6% to $4.6 billion in November, with widespread increases recorded throughout the section. Leading the gain were imports of communications and audio and video equipment (+14.2%), primarily cellular telephones, largely on higher volumes.
Registering their first increase in five months, imports of motor vehicles and parts grew 3.5% to $6.9 billion in November. Volumes were up 3.2%. Higher imports of motor vehicle engines and motor vehicle parts (+4.1%) and passenger cars and light trucks (+4.0%) accounted for most of the monthly gain.
Imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products increased 6.8% to $3.7 billion in November, as a result of higher volumes. Imports of unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys were up 14.4%.
Imports of basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products grew 6.7% to $3.2 billion, mainly on higher volumes. Imports of basic chemicals rose 20.1% in November.
Imports of energy products decreased 3.7% to $3.5 billion, as volumes fell 4.0%. Imports of refined petroleum energy products, mainly motor gasoline, fell 13.2%, as a result of lower volumes and prices.
Farm, fishing and intermediate food products lead the decline in exports
After reaching a record high in October, exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products fell 14.6% to $2.3 billion in November. Volumes decreased 13.9%, as widespread declines were registered throughout the section. Leading the overall decline were exports of canola (-32.5%) and other crop products (-15.7%).
Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products decreased 7.6% to $4.2 billion. The main contributor to the decline was unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys, as volumes fell 24.3%.
Following four consecutive monthly decreases, exports of motor vehicles and parts grew 6.6% to $6.0 billion in November. Passenger cars and light trucks accounted for most of the gain, rising 8.8% to $4.3 billion on higher volumes.
Exports of basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products increased 7.5% to $2.7 billion. Higher volumes of lubricants and other petroleum refinery products (+26.0%) and dyes and pigments; petrochemicals (+26.1%) led the gain.
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 (2007=100).
For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.
Beginning with the release of the January 2013 reference month, the Canadian international merchandise trade data will be made available on average 35 days after the end of the reference month, on average 5 days earlier than previously. For further information, consult the release date calendar.
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 are revised with the release of the January, February and March reference months. Revisions to BOP based data for the previous three years are released annually in June with the April reference month.
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.
Available without charge in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table228-0058 to 228-0068.
These data are available in the Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database (Catalogue number65F0013X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.
The November 2012 issue of Canadian International Merchandise Trade, Vol. 66, no. 11 (Catalogue number65-001-X, free), is also 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 December will be released on February 8.
For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; email@example.com).
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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