Canadian international merchandise trade, January 2013
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Canada's merchandise exports rose 2.1% in January and imports increased 1.9%. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with the world narrowed from $332 million in December to $237 million in January.
Exports and imports
Exports rose to $39.1 billion, as prices increased 1.3% and volumes were up 0.9%. The main contributors to the monthly gain in exports were crude oil and crude bitumen as well as unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys. A decline in exports of passenger cars and light trucks partially offset the overall increase.
Imports increased to $39.3 billion, almost entirely the result of higher volumes (+1.8%). Imports of energy products contributed the most to the overall increase, followed by metal ores and non-metallic minerals.
Exports to the United States rose 2.6% to $29.0 billion in January, on the strength of crude oil and crude bitumen. Imports increased 2.1% to $24.7 billion. Consequently, Canada's trade surplus with the United States grew from $4.0 billion in December to $4.3 billion in January.
Exports to countries other than the United States increased 0.9% to $10.1 billion, as a result of a 14.0% gain in exports to the European Union. Imports from countries other than the United States rose 1.5% to $14.6 billion. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States went from $4.4 billion in December to $4.5 billion in January.
Exports of energy products, and metal and non-metallic mineral products lead overall gain
Exports of energy products increased 6.7% to $9.2 billion in January. Contributing the most to the gain was crude oil and crude bitumen (+9.5%), almost entirely on higher volumes. Volumes of crude oil and crude bitumen rose for a third consecutive month.
Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products rose 10.5% to $5.1 billion. Leading the increase was unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys, which recorded a 36.2% increase as a result of higher volumes.
A 7.4% gain in volumes pushed basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products up 5.6% to $3.0 billion. Leading the overall gain were exports of dyes and pigments; petrochemicals (+38.3%) as well as basic chemicals (+16.8%). Lower exports of lubricants and other petroleum refinery products partially offset the section's increase.
Exports of motor vehicles and parts fell 7.6% to $5.1 billion in January, the result of widespread decreases in volumes. Contributing the most to the overall decline were lower exports of passenger cars and light trucks (-7.9%), followed by motor vehicle engines and motor vehicle parts (-7.6%).
Exports of metal ores and non-metallic mineral products decreased 16.0% to $1.4 billion, entirely a result of lower volumes (-22.5%). The main contributor to the overall decline was exports of copper ores and concentrates, down 56.3%.
Imports increase on higher volumes
Imports of energy products rose 11.8% to $4.3 billion in January, as a result of widespread increases. Crude oil and crude bitumen led the advance, up 12.0% to $2.9 billion, largely on higher volumes (+9.6%).
Imports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals grew 36.5% to $1.1 billion, the highest value since reaching a record high in August 2011. Imports of metal ores and concentrates contributed the most to the monthly gain, entirely the result of higher volumes.
Imports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts rose 5.3% to $3.6 billion, as a result of widespread increases. Leading the gains were imports of other general-purpose machinery and equipment, mainly turbines and turbine generator sets, rising 8.4% to $1.1 billion on higher volumes (+8.0%).
Metal and non-metallic mineral products imports declined 10.8% to $3.2 billion in January, their lowest level since February 2011. Imports of unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys, down 37.9%, were the main contributor to the monthly decrease, almost entirely the result of lower volumes.
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.
The Canadian international merchandise trade data are now available on average 35 days after the end of the reference month, 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 section 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.
Available in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table228-0058 to 228-0068.
These data are now available in the Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database (Catalogue number65F0013X). From the Browse by key resource module of our website, choose Publications.
The January 2013 issue of Canadian International Merchandise Trade, Vol. 67, no. 1 (Catalogue number65-001-X), is also available from the Browse by 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).
Data on Canadian international merchandise trade for February will be released on April 5.
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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