Statistics Canada reports merchandise trade surplus of $1.5 billion in April

OTTAWA – Canada’s trade surplus fell to $1.5 billion in April as imports and exports hit record highs, helped by rising prices, Statistics Canada said Tuesday.

The agency said the result compared with a revised surplus of $2.3 billion in March.

In terms of volume, imports fell 0.4% in April, while exports fell 2.1%.

CIBC senior economist Karyne Charbonneau said the report was “somewhat disappointing”, but added the details suggested the weakness should be temporary, particularly for oil exports which are expected to rebound.

“Nevertheless, for now, exports appear not to be providing the boost to Q2 GDP that we and the Bank of Canada were expecting,” Charbonneau wrote in a report.

“There are still encouraging signs that supply disruptions may be easing, particularly in the automotive sector. With the lifting of lockdowns in China, we should also see a rebound in imports from that country in the coming months. »

Total imports in April rose 1.9% to $62.8 billion, as imports of consumer goods rose 5.5%, the clothing, footwear and accessories sub-category rose 24, 2%.

Meanwhile, total exports rose 0.6% to $64.3 billion in April.

Exports of consumer goods increased 5.0%, boosted by prepared and packaged seafood products which gained 52.4% largely due to high crab prices, while the quantity of crab exported increased also contributed to the increase.

Statistics Canada also said exports of energy products fell 0.9% in April, while exports of crude oil fell 14.3%, due to planned maintenance shutdowns in April at the oil sands of Alberta.

Oil’s decline came as higher prices helped boost natural gas exports 48.4% and higher volumes helped coal exports rise 62.8% for the month.

Overall, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States fell to $11.6 billion in April from a record high of $12.2 billion in March.

Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with countries other than the United States was $10.1 billion in April, down from $9.9 billion in March.

In a separate report, Statistics Canada said the monthly deficit in international trade in services reached $1.3 billion in April, from $796 million in March.

Services imports rose 5.5% to $13.5 billion, while services exports rose 1.6% to $12.2 billion.

When Canada’s trade in goods and services are combined, the country recorded a trade surplus with the world of $184 million in April, compared to $1.5 billion in March.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 7, 2022.

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