Canada’s exports declined 2.8% in January while imports were unchanged from December so our trade deficit therefore widened from $1.2 billion to $2.5 billion, the largest since the record $2.9 billion deficit of July 2012.
Exports declined to $42.6 billion, as four of eleven sections decreased, with energy products, mainly crude oil and crude bitumen, being the main contributor to the decline (-23%). Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products were down 8.6%, unwrought precious metals and alloys down by 13.5% and unwrought aluminum products down by 20.4%, while exports of motor vehicles and parts were up 3.1%.
January imports were virtually unchanged at $45.1 billion, with advances in five sections offset by declines in the other sections. Imports of electronic and electrical equipment rose 9.3%, while industrial machinery, equipment and parts increased 8.2%. Imports of energy products, on the other hand, fell 19.2%.
Exports to the United States declined 3.1% to $31.8 billion while exports to other countries were down 1.9%. The decrease was spread across most principal trading partners, led by lower exports to the Netherlands and Italy, while exports to the United Kingdom went up. Imports from the United States were down 0.1% but imports from other countries were up 0.2% with increases from China partially offset by decreases from the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia. Our trade surplus with the United States narrowed from $2.2 billion to $1.2 billion, the lowest since 1992 while our deficit with other countries went from $3.4 billion to $3.7 billion.
South of the border, figures released by the U.S. Census bureau showed that the U.S. goods and services deficit was $41.8 billionin January, down 9% from December. January exports amounted to $189.4 billion, down 3% from December while January imports came to $231.2 billion, down 4% from December.The U.S. recorded surpluses with South and Central America but ran deficits with China, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India and Canada.
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Sources: Statistics Canada, U.S. Census Bureau