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Canadian international merchandise trade, June 2015

Released: 2015-08-05

Canada's exports increased 6.3% in June while imports declined 0.6%. Export volumes rose 4.8% and prices 1.5%. For imports, volumes declined 0.9% while prices were up 0.3%.

As a result, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $3.4 billion in May to $476 million in June.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Merchandise exports and imports
Merchandise exports and imports

Increase in exports led by sales to the United States

Exports to the United States rose 7.1% to $34.2 billion in June. Exports to countries other than the United States increased 3.8% to $10.4 billion. A $646 million increase in exports to the United Kingdom was partially offset by a $289 million decrease in exports to Switzerland.

Imports from the United States declined 0.9% to $29.5 billion. Imports from countries other than the United States edged up 0.1% to $15.6 billion, on small but widespread increases among the principal trading partners.

Consequently, Canada's trade surplus with the United States widened from $2.1 billion in May to $4.7 billion in June. Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed from $5.5 billion in May to $5.2 billion in June.

Exports rise on higher volumes

With volumes up 4.8% and firmer prices, exports rose to $44.6 billion in June. This was the first increase following five consecutive monthly declines. Exports grew in 9 of 11 sections, led by consumer goods as well as metal and non-metallic mineral products. Exports excluding energy products were up 6.9% in June.

Exports of consumer goods rose 17.2% to a record $6.0 billion in June, on widespread growth throughout the section, led by pharmaceutical and medicinal products (+41.7%), prepared and packaged seafood products (+128.9%) and miscellaneous goods and supplies (+17.1%). The gains for all three commodity groupings were entirely the result of higher volumes, as was the case for the section as a whole.

Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products grew 10.8% to $5.1 billion on higher volumes. The main contributor to the increase in exports was unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys, up 18.3% to $1.7 billion in June.

Energy products increased 3.7% to $7.9 billion in June. Prices were up 4.5% while volumes decreased 0.7%. There were higher exports of crude oil and crude bitumen (+3.3%) and refined petroleum energy products (+13.7%).

Exports of forestry products and building and packaging materials rose 9.2% to $3.4 billion in June. Volumes increased 8.8% and prices 0.4%. Higher exports of pulp and paper stock (+14.2%) led widespread growth in the section.

Total exports increased 0.7% in the second quarter. However, in real (or volume) terms, quarterly exports were virtually unchanged from the first quarter.

Lower imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts as well as energy products

Imports declined to $45.1 billion in June, as 7 of 11 sections decreased. Lower imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts as well as energy products were partially offset by increases in electronic and electrical equipment and parts as well as metal and non-metallic mineral products. Year over year, imports were up 4.4%.

Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts fell 19.0% to $1.3 billion in June. The main contributor was aircraft, which declined by $264 million to reach $110 million in June.

Imports of energy products were down 10.4% to $2.7 billion in June. Imports of crude oil and crude bitumen declined 17.0% to $1.4 billion. For the section as a whole, volumes declined 11.0% while prices were up 0.6%.

Meanwhile, imports of electronic and electrical equipment and parts rose 3.3% to $5.2 billion in June, as volumes were up 2.7%. Communications and audio and video equipment (+9.7%) was the main contributor to the increase in imports in the section.

Metal and non-metallic mineral products imports grew 3.6% to $4.0 billion. Volumes increased 2.2% and prices 1.4%. There was widespread growth in imports among the commodity groupings in the section, led by unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys, up 12.0% to $910 million.

In the second quarter, overall imports increased 0.2% from the first quarter. In real (or volume) terms, quarterly imports were up 0.3%.

Revisions to May imports and exports

May's imports, originally reported as $45.3 billion in last month's release, were virtually unchanged after this month's revision. Exports were also largely unchanged at $42.0 billion.

Chart 2  Chart 2: International merchandise trade balance
International merchandise trade balance



  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 trade data by commodity are available on both a BOP and a customs basis. International trade data by country are available on a customs basis for all countries, and on a BOP basis for Canada's 27 principal trading partners (PTPs). The list of PTPs is based on their annual share of total merchandise trade—imports and exports—with Canada in 2012. 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.

For a BOP versus customs-based data conceptual analysis, see "Balance of Payments trade in goods at Statistics Canada: Expanding geographic detail to 27 principal trading partners."

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 Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

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, March and April reference months. To remain consistent with the Canadian System of macroeconomic accounts, revisions to BOP based data for previous years are released annually in December with the October 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.

For more information on revisions for crude oil and natural gas, see "Revisions to trade data for crude oil and natural gas."

Revised data are available in the appropriate CANSIM tables.

Next release

Data on Canadian international merchandise trade for July will be released on September 3.

Products

Customs based 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 June 2015 issue of Canadian International Merchandise Trade, Vol. 69, no. 6 (Catalogue number65-001-X), is also available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

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 Nita Boushey (613-404-4965; nita.boushey@statcan.gc.ca), International Accounts and Trade Division.

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