StatsCan reports $2.7 billion trade surplus

Merchandise exports rise 4.5 per cent in November while imports up only 0.8 per cent, increasing Canada’s trade surplus by $1.5 billion.

February 10, 2012   by The Canadian Press

OTTAWA—Statistics Canada (StatsCan) says merchandise exports rose 4.5 per cent in December while imports edged up 0.8 per cent, pushing the country’s trade surplus to $2.7 billion from $1.2 billion in November.

The agency says exports grew to $42 billion in December as volumes increased 4.9 per cent.

The increase continues an upward trend that began last July.

The value of exports increased in all sectors, but was led by machinery and equipment.

Imports increased to $39.3 billion as volumes rose 1.2 per cent.

The increase was mainly a result of industrial goods and materials, and automotive products.

Exports to the U.S. rose 5.3 per cent to $30.2 billion with higher shipments of crude petroleum, aircraft and precious metals, while imports increased 2.8 per cent to $24.7 billion.

Both exports and imports posted their highest levels since October 2008.

The trade surplus with the U.S. grew to $5.5 billion in December from $4.7 billion in November.

Exports to countries other than the U.S. increased 2.5 per cent to a record high of $11.8 billion. Imports from countries other than the U.S. fell 2.6 per cent to $14.7 billion, a result of lower imports from the European Union (EU).

It was the lowest deficit since December 2010.

Exports of machinery and equipment grew 9.2 per cent to $7.5 billion in December, the highest level of exports since March 2009, led by shipments of aircraft, engines and parts.

Shipments of auto products were up 6.7 per cent to $5.8 billion, the highest level since November 2007.

Energy exports 1.7 per cent to $10.3 billion, with crude petroleum exports hitting a record high of $6.9 billion.

Imports of industrial goods and materials grew 2.6 per cent to $8.6 billion in December. Imports of automotive products rose 3.6 per cent to $6 billion on higher volumes. Imports of machinery and equipment increased 1.3 per cent to $10.9 billion.

Energy imports fell 7.5 per cent to $4.3 billion, the only sector to decrease in December. It was the second consecutive monthly decrease in the sector.

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