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

Canadian international merchandise trade, October 2013

Released: 2013-12-04

Canada's merchandise imports declined 1.2% and exports decreased 0.3% in October. As a result, Canada's trade balance with the world went from a deficit of $303 million in September to a surplus of $75 million in October.

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

Chart 1: Exports and imports - Description and data table

Imports declined to $40.4 billion as lower imports of energy products, as well as motor vehicles and parts were partially offset by higher imports of basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products. Overall, prices were down 1.2%.

Exports decreased to $40.5 billion as prices declined 0.3%. Exports of motor vehicles and parts; metal and non-metallic mineral products; as well as aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts declined, while those of farm, fishing and intermediate food products; and consumer goods increased.

Imports from the United States grew 1.0% to $26.5 billion on the strength of lubricants and other petroleum refinery products. Exports to the United States edged up 0.2% to $30.4 billion. Consequently, Canada's trade surplus with the United States narrowed from $4.1 billion in September to $3.9 billion in October.

Imports from countries other than the United States fell 5.1% to $13.9 billion, with declines reported for the principal trading areas "other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries" (-13.8%) and "all other countries" (-5.6%). Exports to countries other than the United States declined 1.7% to $10.1 billion as lower exports to the principal trading area "other OECD countries" (-14.7%) were partially offset by higher exports to the principal trading area "all other countries" (+2.5%). As a result, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed from $4.4 billion in September to $3.9 billion in October.

Imports decline on lower prices

Imports of energy products fell 8.5% to $3.4 billion in October, as volumes and prices were down. Lower imports of crude oil and crude bitumen (-18.8%) were partially offset by higher imports of refined petroleum energy products (+19.0%).

Imports of motor vehicles and parts declined 2.8% to $7.1 billion, the first decrease since May 2013. Passenger cars and light trucks were the main contributor to the decline, as imports were down 4.3% to $2.9 billion. Overall, volumes were down 2.6%.

Imports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts decreased 4.5% to $3.6 billion. Contributing the most to the section's decline were other general-purpose machinery and equipment (-9.9%), primarily turbines and turbine generator set units. Overall, volumes decreased 5.2%.

Imports of electronic and electrical equipment and parts were down 3.3% to $4.7 billion, as electronic and electrical parts fell 25.2% to $659 million.

Imports of basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products increased 15.1% to $3.8 billion, entirely on volumes. The increase in imports was led by lubricants and other petroleum refinery products.

Large offsetting movements underlie modest decline in exports

Exports of motor vehicles and parts declined 5.0% to $5.5 billion in October, as volumes were down 5.0%. Motor vehicle engines and motor vehicle parts (-12.3%), as well as passenger cars and light trucks (-2.7%) both contributed to the section's decrease in exports.

Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products decreased 6.2% to $4.3 billion. The largest declines occurred in unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys (-12.7%), as well unwrought, basic and semi-finished aluminum and aluminum-alloy products (-14.1%). Overall, volumes and prices both decreased.

Exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts fell 16.1% to $1.3 billion. Exports of aircraft decreased $187 million to $435 million in October, following an increase of $170 million in September.

Exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products rose 11.8% to $2.5 billion, as volumes were up 10.9%. Higher exports of canola led widespread increases throughout the section.

Exports of consumer goods were up 6.2% to $4.6 billion. The increase was entirely attributable to exports of pharmaceutical and medicinal products, which rose to $769 million in October, their highest value since October 2008. Overall, volumes rose 7.6%.

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. 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 October 2013 issue of Canadian International Merchandise Trade, Vol. 67, no. 10 (Catalogue number65-001-X), is also now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

Data on Canadian international merchandise trade for November will be released on January 7.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Alec Forbes (613-951-0325), International Trade Division.

Date modified: