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.
Rising imports push Canada's trade surplus to seven-year low
Canada's exports and imports both hit record levels in 2006, but rapid growth in goods coming into the country pushed the trade surplus to its lowest level since 1999, Statistics Canada said Tuesday.
Canadian companies exported $458.17 billion worth of merchandise last year, a 1.1 per cent gain from 2005. That came despite the first drop in shipments to the United States in three years.
Imports grew by 4.2 per cent to $404.5 billion in 2006.
The sharp rise in imports meant Canada's annual merchandise trade surplus with the world fell by more than $11.2 billion to $53.6 billion.
The United States remained Canada's largest export market. The U.S. was the destination for 79 per cent of Canada's exports in 2006, down from 81 per cent the previous year because of lower shipments in the auto and forestry sectors. Canada's trade surplus with the United States amounted to $96.5 billion, the lowest value since 2003.
Exports and imports ended the year on a strong note. December imports surged 3.6 per cent to a new monthly peak of $35.4 billion, the third monthly gain in a row. Exports for the month rose 3.8 per cent to $40.4 billion. The monthly trade surplus came in at $4.98 billion, up from November's $4.72 billion.
That strength gave a boost to the Canadian dollar, which rallied to 85.50 cents US in morning trading, up 0.42 cents.
South of the border, the trade deficit was a larger-than-expected $61.2 billion US in December.
For the year as a whole, the ran up a record trade deficit of $763.6 billion US. It's the fifth consecutive year the trade deficit has set a record.