Canadian international merchandise trade, May 2013
Canada's merchandise imports fell 3.2% and exports declined 1.6%. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with the world decreased from $951 million in April to $303 million in May.
Following four consecutive monthly increases, imports fell to $39.6 billion. The decline was largely attributed to lower imports of energy products, and metal ores and non-metallic minerals. Also contributing to the decrease were motor vehicles and parts, and metal and non-metallic mineral products. Overall, volumes were down 2.0% and prices, 1.2%.
Exports declined to $39.3 billion as prices decreased 1.0% and volumes were down 0.7%. The overall decline in exports was led by metal and non-metallic mineral products, as well as motor vehicles and parts.
Imports from the United States declined 2.0% to $25.7 billion, the first decrease in five months. Contributing to the decline in May were lower imports of precious metals ores and concentrates, and precious metal bullion, as well as passenger cars. Exports to the United States decreased 1.6% to $29.2 billion. Consequently, Canada's trade surplus with the United States went from $3.4 billion in April to $3.5 billion in May.
Imports from countries other than the United States fell 5.3% to $13.9 billion. The main contributor to the decline was the principal trading area "all other countries", which fell 10.4%, mainly on lower imports of crude oil and crude bitumen. Exports to countries other than the United States declined 1.6% to $10.1 billion. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States decreased from $4.4 billion in April to $3.8 billion in May.
Lower volumes of energy products lead the decline in imports
Imports of energy products declined 18.4% to $3.2 billion in May, as volumes decreased 15.2%. Imports of crude oil and crude bitumen fell 34.1% to $1.5 billion, on lower volumes (-31.7%). This was the sixth consecutive monthly decrease in imports of crude oil and crude bitumen, and the lowest level since March 2009.
Imports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals fell 38.8% to $777 million, as volumes declined 32.9%. Widespread decreases in imports were recorded throughout the section, led by other metal ores and concentrates, mainly precious metal ores and concentrates, and precious metal bullion.
Following three consecutive monthly increases, imports of motor vehicles and parts declined 4.7% to $6.9 billion in May. Passenger cars and light trucks was the main contributor, falling 8.9%, entirely on lower volumes.
Imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products decreased 8.5% to $3.3 billion. Unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys declined 34.0% to $624 million on lower volumes and prices.
Exports of unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys fall in May
Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products declined 15.0% to $4.2 billion in May. The main contributor to the section's decrease was unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys, which fell 34.9% to $1.4 billion on lower volumes (-33.2%).
Exports of motor vehicles and parts declined 3.8% to $5.4 billion; volumes were down 3.9%. Passenger cars and light trucks led the overall decline, down 4.3% to $3.7 billion.
Exports of energy products increased 1.2% to $9.2 billion. A 3.3% gain in exports of crude oil and crude bitumen was partially offset by decreases in refined petroleum energy products (-7.0%) and natural gas (-6.2%).
Merchandise trade: North American Product Classification– Seasonally adjusted, current dollars
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.
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 four years were released 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.
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 May 2013 issue of Canadian International Merchandise Trade, Vol. 67, no. 5 (Catalogue number65-001-X), is also available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.
Data on Canadian international merchandise trade for June will be released on August 6.
For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 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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