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Trade

Canadian international merchandise trade for January 2016

Ottawa - Canada's imports increased 1.1% in January to $46.7 billion. Import volumes increased 1.6% while prices were down 0.5%. Exports totalled $46.0 billion, up 1.0% from December. Export volumes rose 3.6% and prices declined 2.5%. Consequently, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world widened from $631 million in December to $655 million in January.

Trade up with the US, mixed results elsewhere

Exports to countries other than the United States declined 3.7% to $11.1 billion in January. Meanwhile, imports from countries other than the United States increased 1.1% to $15.4 billion. Countries other than Canada's principal trading partners were the main drivers behind both the decrease in exports and increase in imports. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened from $3.8 billion in December to $4.4 billion in January.

Exports to the United States advanced 2.6% to $34.9 billion in January. Meanwhile, imports from the United States were up 1.1% to $31.2 billion. Consequently, Canada's trade surplus with the United States widened from $3.1 billion in December to $3.7 billion in January.

Motor vehicles and parts lead the rise in imports

Total imports were up 1.1% to $46.7 billion in January, as 9 of 11 sections increased. Gains in motor vehicles and parts as well as consumer goods were partially offset by the decline in aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts. Year over year, imports rose 4.4%.

Imports of motor vehicles and parts were up 3.3% to a record $9.0 billion. The main contributor was motor vehicle engines and motor vehicle parts, up 8.2% to $4.1 billion, the fourth consecutive monthly gain. Overall, volumes were up 1.7% and prices increased 1.6%.

Imports of consumer goods rose 1.8% to $10.3 billion. Prices increased 1.0% and volumes were up 0.8%. Widespread increases throughout the section were led by pharmaceutical and medicinal products (+2.7%), meat products (+9.4%), and clothing, footwear and accessories (+2.2%).

Partially offsetting these gains, imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts declined 16.1% to $1.7 billion, after reaching a record $2.0 billion in December 2015. Imports of aircraft decreased $373 million to reach $276 million in January. Meanwhile, imports of ships, locomotives, railway rolling stock, and rapid transit equipment rose $134 million to reach $202 million.

Large offsetting movements underlie the increase in exports

Total exports increased 1.0% to a record $46.0 billion in January. Increases in consumer goods as well as motor vehicles and parts were moderated by decreases in aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts as well as energy products. Exports excluding energy products increased 2.3%. Year over year, total exports were up 7.3%.

Exports of consumer goods rose 13.7% to $7.3 billion on higher volumes. Exports of miscellaneous goods and supplies increased 52.3% to $1.2 billion; the growth in this commodity grouping was led by "articles of precious metal." In addition, pharmaceutical and medicinal products were up 30.9% to a record $1.4 billion.

Exports of motor vehicles and parts increased 7.2% to $9.1 billion. Exports of passenger cars and light trucks rose 5.9% to $6.3 billion, the fourth consecutive monthly increase. Motor vehicle engines and motor vehicle parts were up 12.9% to $2.2 billion. For the section as a whole, volumes increased 5.4% and prices were up 1.7%.

Moderating these gains, exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts fell 35.2% to $1.5 billion. The main contributor was aircraft exports, down 74.2% to $287 million following an 88.5% increase in December 2015.

Exports of energy products declined 7.7% to $5.5 billion in January. Overall, prices decreased 14.4% while volumes increased 7.8%. Exports of crude oil and crude bitumen fell 11.3% to $3.6 billion.

Real exports advance at a higher pace

In real (or volume) terms, exports increased 3.6% in January, led by energy products and consumer goods. At the same time, import volumes were up 1.6%. Consequently, Canada's trade surplus in real terms widened from $2.5 billion in December to $3.4 billion in January, the eighth consecutive monthly real surplus. Year over year, real exports rose 8.8% while imports declined 0.9%.

Revisions to December imports and exports

Revisions reflect initial estimates being updated or replaced with administrative and survey data as they became available, as well as amendments made for late documentation of high-value transactions. Imports in December, originally reported as $45.9 billion in last month's release, were revised to $46.2 billion with the current month release. Exports, originally reported as $45.4 billion in last month's release, were revised to $45.5 billion.

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