The Daily
|
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Canadian international merchandise trade, April 2013

Released: 2013-06-04

Canada's merchandise imports rose 1.2% in April, while exports edged down 0.2%. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with the world went from $3 million in March to $567 million in April.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Exports and imports - Description and data table
Exports and imports

Chart 1: Exports and imports - Description and data table

Imports rose for a fourth consecutive month to a record high of $40.8 billion. The increase in imports was led by energy products, motor vehicles and parts, and metal ores and non-metallic minerals. Overall, volumes were up 1.5%.

Exports edged down to $40.3 billion, as decreases in metal ores and non-metallic minerals, energy products, and industrial machinery, equipment and parts were partially offset by a large increase in metals and non-metallic mineral products. Overall, prices declined 0.7%, while volumes were up 0.5%.

Imports from the United States increased 1.9% to a record high of $26.2 billion. The gain was led by metal ores and non-metallic minerals, as well as energy products. Exports to the United States grew 1.8% to $30.1 billion. Consequently, Canada's trade surplus with the United States went from $3.8 billion in March to $3.9 billion in April.

Exports to countries other than the United States fell 5.6% to $10.2 billion, as decreases were recorded in most principal trading areas. Imports from countries other than the United States were relatively unchanged in April at $14.6 billion. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States increased from $3.8 billion in March to $4.4 billion in April.

Energy products lead gain in imports

Imports of energy products increased 6.0% to $3.9 billion in April, as volumes were up 5.7%. Refined petroleum energy products led the overall increase in energy products, rising 33.9% to a record high of $1.2 billion. Imports of crude oil and crude bitumen declined for the fifth consecutive month, partially offsetting the section's increase.

Imports of motor vehicles and parts grew 1.9% to $7.2 billion, led by passenger cars and light trucks, up 3.7%. Also contributing to the increase was medium and heavy trucks, buses and other motor vehicles, which rose 7.2% to a record high of $887 million.

Imports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals increased 10.3% to $1.3 billion, on the strength of other metal ores and concentrates, which grew 11.7% to $888 million. Overall, volumes rose 8.2%.

Imports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts declined 3.5% to $3.7 billion in April, as widespread decreases were recorded throughout the section. Volumes were down 3.2%.

Offsetting movements result in a slight decrease in exports

Exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals declined 13.8% to $1.5 billion in April, as volumes fell 9.8%. Copper ores and concentrates was the main contributor to the overall decrease, declining 62.0% to $136 million.

Exports of energy products decreased 1.7% to $9.3 billion, as prices declined 1.4%. Exports of other energy products, mainly coal, fell 29.1%. After posting four consecutive monthly gains, exports of crude oil and crude bitumen fell 2.0% on lower prices. Higher exports of natural gas (+14.3%) partially offset the overall decrease in the section.

Exports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts fell 5.0% to $2.1 billion. Widespread declines were recorded throughout the section, led by miscellaneous parts of machinery and equipment.

Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products grew 10.6% to $4.9 billion, as volumes (+5.6%) and prices (+4.7%) rose. An increase in exports of unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys more than offset widespread decreases in the section.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Trade balance - Description and data table
Trade balance

Chart 2: Trade balance - Description and data table

  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.

Revisions

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. For this release, BOP based data have been revised for the previous four years.

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.

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 April 2013 issue of Canadian International Merchandise Trade, Vol. 67, no. 4 (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 May will be released on July 3.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; infostats@statcan.gc.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Marc Nadeau (613-951-3692), International Trade Division.

Date modified: