Canada’s merchandise exports increased 1.4 per cent in July, while imports edged down 0.3 per cent. As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the world widened from $1.8 billion in June to $2.6 billion in July.
Exports rose to $45.5 billion, led by motor vehicles and parts. Overall, volumes increased 1.1 per cent and prices 0.3 per cent.
Imports edged down to $43.0 billion, as prices declined 0.6 per cent while volumes increased 0.4 per cent. Lower imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts, consumer goods as well as metal and non-metallic mineral products were partially offset by higher imports of motor vehicles and parts.
Exports to the United States increase
Exports to the United States rose 1.9 per cent to $34.4 billion in July and imports from the United States increased 1.2 per cent to $29.2 billion. Motor vehicles and parts was the main contributor to both gains. Canada’s trade surplus with the United States widened from $4.9 billion in June to $5.1 billion in July.
Exports to countries other than the United States edged up 0.1 per cent to $11.2 billion. Imports from countries other than the United States declined 3.2 per cent to $13.7 billion, as imports from the principal trading area “all other countries” (-4.6 per cent) and the European Union (-3.7 per cent) fell. Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed from $3.0 billion in June to $2.6 billion in July.
Exports of motor vehicles and parts increase
Exports of motor vehicles and parts grew 9.7 per cent to $6.9 billion in July. Motor vehicles and parts increased for the fifth time in seven months, as automobile sales in both Canada and the United States have hit record highs throughout the year. In July, exports of passenger cars and light trucks (+10.2 per cent) led the overall gain, with an increase also being recorded for motor vehicle engines and motor vehicle parts (+8.9 per cent).
Exports of energy products declined 2.1 per cent to $11.3 billion, as prices were down 1.8 per cent and volumes edged down 0.3 per cent. The main contributor to the decrease in exports was crude oil and crude bitumen, which fell 1.6 per cent to $8.5 billion in July following a record high of $8.6 billion in June. Exports of natural gas declined for a fifth consecutive month, down 6.3 per cent to $1.1 billion in July as volumes fell 4.6 per cent and prices 1.8 per cent.
Imports edge down
Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts fell 11.9 per cent to $1.4 billion in July. The main contributor to the decline was the commodity grouping “ships, locomotives, railway rolling stock, and rapid transit equipment,” which decreased $92 million to $43 million in July. Aircraft engines and aircraft parts declined 9.2 per cent to $687 million.
Imports of consumer goods declined 1.9 per cent to $8.6 billion, a third consecutive monthly decrease. Volumes decreased 1.0 per cent and prices 0.9 per cent. There were widespread declines in imports throughout the section, led by clothing, footwear and accessories (-4.4 per cent) and miscellaneous goods and supplies (-2.6 per cent).
Also declining in July were imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products, down 4.4 per cent to $3.5 billion on lower volumes. Lower imports were recorded for unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys (-15.8 per cent) and unwrought copper and copper alloys (-60.0 per cent). Imports of these two commodities tend to fluctuate on a month-to-month basis.
Partially offsetting the declines were imports of motor vehicles and parts, which rose 2.7 per cent to $7.8 billion. Volumes were up 2.2 per cent. Leading the gains were imports of motor vehicle engines and motor vehicle parts (+7.4 per cent).