Canada trade deficit expands as imports rise, exports edge down

Worker checks welded part from auto weld assembly line at Alfield Industries

Canada in May imported 2.9 percent more goods from countries other than the USA, its leading trade partner.

In real terms, exports fell 1 percent, owing to the lower exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world totalled $2.8 billion in May, widening from a $1.9 billion deficit in April. Canada has only recorded two monthly trade surpluses since October 2014.

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Statistics Canada noted that the rise was driven by the import of many airliners from the U.S. Energy products' imports also added to May's gain as a number of Canadian refiners were temporarily shut down in the month, causing higher imports to meet domestic demand for refined petroleum products. Exports to the United States slipped by 0.2 per cent while imports increased by 1.0 per cent and as a result, the trade surplus with the United States shrank to $3.29-billion in May from $3.69-billion in April.

Exports were off slightly for the month, falling 0.1 percent to Can$48.3 billion, on a 3.6 percent decline in sales of motor vehicles and auto parts. Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment as well as energy products contributed the most to the increase in May. "Imports in the aircraft category, for their part, were lifted by the delivery of several airliners from the United States".

Imports from the United States rose one percent in May, totaling Can$32.6 billion, but exports to the U.S. edged down by 0.2 percent to Can$35.9 billion.

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