Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 08:30

MNI DATA IMPACT:Cdn Goods Trade Gap Narrows More Than Expected

By Courtney Tower

OTTAWA (MNI) - Following are the key points from the February data on Canadian merchandise trade released Wednesday by Statistics Canada:

- The goods trade deficit narrowed to C$2.9 billion from C$3.1 billion, which was revised from -C$4.2 billion in January. Analysts in a MNI survey and the market had expected a deficit of C$3.5 billion. The trade deficit for the previous month was revised due to late reporting of crude oil transactions, which were revised C$1.2 billion upward.

- There was a widespread decrease in imports in February after two consecutive monthly increases. Imports declined 1.6% to C$50.9 billion and were down in eight of 11 sub-sectors. Import prices were the cause, down 1.6%, while volumes were essentially unchanged. Lower imports of gold to the UK led the overall decrease, creating a 7.7% decrease for the metal and non-metallic mineral products section. Imports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts declined 3.5% on lower volumes, a negative sign for investment activity in Canada.

- Total exports declined 1.3% to C$48.0 billion, with all non-energy exports declining 4.0%. In real terms, the decline for non-energy products was 4.5%. Export volumes overall were down 4.1%, while prices were up 2.9%. Exports of energy products were up 11.7% on the month, largely on higher prices for crude oil; in fact crude oil volumes exported were down 5.3%.

- Exports to the United States rose 3.5%, mainly because of crude oil. Imports from the U.S. were up 1.2%. Canada's trade surplus with the U.S. widened from C$2.6 billion in January to C$3.5 billion in February, the largest surplus since October 2018.

- Exports to countries other than the United States declined 14.0% to C$11.7 billion, the lowest level since February 2018. Imports from these countries also declined strongly, down 6.3%. Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened to C$6.4 billion from C$5.7 billion in January.

--MNI Ottawa Bureau; email:


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