Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.
Canada Reports C$0.13bn March Trade Deficit, Exports Hit Record HighThursday, May 04, 2017 > 12:17:47
The Canadian trade account remained in deficit for March with a C$0.13mn shortfall for the month following a revised C$1.1bn deficit for February which was originally reported as C$1.0bn. Consensus expectations were for a slight surplus on the month.
Exports increased 3.8% on the month to a record high of C$47.0bn while there was a 12.9% gain over the year. There were increases across 8 of 11 categories and a volume increase of 2.5% on the month.
Exports of energy products rose 7.0% on the month, boosted by a jump in natural gas shipments, while there was a strong gain for consumer goods exports on the month.
Imports increased 1.7% on the month to C$47.1bn for the month with gains in 7 of the 11 categories. There was a strong increase in imports of unwrought gold and there were solid gains in machinery imports.
The surplus with the US narrowed to C$4.0bn from C$4.5bn the previous month.
Trade issues have become a key focus over the past few weeks following US President Trump’s threat to withdraw from NAFTA while the US has imposed tariffs on Canadian lumber imports. A simmering dispute surrounding dairy trade and threat of tariffs has also been an unsettling influence surrounding bilateral trade.
The decline in oil prices will also have a negative impact on the Canadian trade account over the next few months, although Canadian competitiveness has improved in the US and global market given the weaker Canadian dollar tone.
The strength in trade volumes should underpin the overall growth outlook and export trends will provide some reassurance to the Bank of Canada, although trade tensions are liable to overshadow fundamental flows in the short term with the US Administration continuing to pursue its trade agenda.
The Canadian dollar strengthened after the data with USD/CAD at 1.3720 from 1.3745, although changes in oil prices dominated.