Canada: International merchandise trade, November 2015

Canada’s imports decreased 0.7% in November and exports increased 0.4%. Import volumes declined 1.6% while prices increased 0.9%. For exports, volumes were up 0.7% while prices declined 0.4%.

As a result, Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $2.5 billion in October to $2.0 billion in November.

Exports to the United States increase, while trade with non-US countries decreases

Exports to the United States rose 1.3% to $32.5 billion in November, while imports edged down 0.1% to $30.4 billion. Consequently, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States widened from $1.7 billion in October to $2.1 billion in November.

Exports to countries other than the United States declined 2.2% to $10.7 billion in November. The declines were widespread, led by the United Kingdom and Germany. Meanwhile, imports from countries other than the United States decreased 2.1% to $14.8 billion. Lower imports from Switzerland and China were moderated by higher imports from Japan and Saudi Arabia. As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed from $4.2 billion in October to $4.1 billion in November.

Import volumes decline in most sections

Total imports declined 0.7% to $45.2 billion in November. Imports fell in 7 of 11 sections, with the largest declines in electronic and electrical equipment and parts as well as energy products. Year over year, total imports increased 2.8%.

Imports of electronic and electrical equipment and parts decreased 2.9% to $5.1 billion. The main contributor was communications and audio and video equipment, down 9.1% to $1.6 billion. Overall, volumes declined 3.7% while prices increased 0.8%.

Imports of energy products fell 6.4% to $2.1 billion, the lowest import value since August 2004. In November, overall volumes were down 8.3% while prices increased 2.1%. Imports of crude oil and crude bitumen were down 9.1% to $919 million, the fifth consecutive monthly decrease.

Imports of consumer goods declined 1.0% to $9.8 billion. Widespread decreases throughout the section were led by pharmaceutical and medicinal products (-2.3%), alcoholic beverages (-8.1%) and clothing, footwear and accessories (-1.4%). Overall, volumes were down 1.9% while prices increased 0.9%.

These declines were moderated by a 2.5% increase in industrial machinery, equipment and parts to $4.5 billion. There were higher imports of other general-purpose machinery and equipment (+7.7%), mainly turbines and turbine generator set units. For the section as a whole, prices increased 1.3% and volumes rose 1.2%.

Motor vehicles and parts lead increase in exports

Total exports rose 0.4% to $43.3 billion in November, following three consecutive declines. There were increased exports of motor vehicles and parts; metal ores and non-metallic minerals; and forestry products and building and packaging materials. These gains were partially offset by lower exports of energy products and consumer goods. Exports excluding energy products rose 1.6% in November. Year over year, total exports were down 1.6%.

Exports of motor vehicles and parts rose 5.9% to $7.9 billion. The main contributor was passenger cars and light trucks, up 7.7% to $5.4 billion. Overall, volumes rose 4.7% and prices increased 1.1%.

Exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals increased 20.4% to $1.8 billion on higher volumes. Exports of copper ores and concentrates almost doubled to $482 million in November.

Forestry products and building and packaging materials exports were up 5.5% to $3.5 billion on higher volumes. Widespread increases in exports throughout the section were led by lumber and other sawmill and millwork products (+8.6%) and pulp and paper stock (+6.0%).

Partially offsetting these increases, exports of energy products fell 6.6% to $5.9 billion, the lowest export value since May 2009. In November, exports of refined petroleum energy products (-30.8%) and natural gas (-17.8%) decreased. For the section as a whole, volumes were down 3.5% and prices declined 3.2%.

Exports of consumer goods declined 4.5% to $6.0 billion on lower volumes. Exports of pharmaceutical and medicinal products fell 20.7% to $832 million. Exports of other food products were down 10.2% to $1.3 billion, on lower exports of lentils and peas.

Revisions to October 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 October, originally reported as $45.7 billion in last month’s release, were revised to $45.6 billion with the current month release. Exports, originally reported as $43.0 billion in last month’s release, were revised to $43.1 billion.

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This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell