Canadian exports hit record high in March as trade deficit narrows

Canadian exports hit record high in March

OTTAWA — The energy and consumer goods sectors helped Canadian exports rise to a record high in March as the country’s trade deficit narrowed to $135 million, Statistics Canada said Thursday.

Economists had expected a deficit of $800 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

“This is a solid report,” said Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates and macro strategist at BMO Capital Markets.

The shortfall followed a revised deficit of $1.1 billion for February compared with an initial reading of a deficit of $972 million for the month.

Gains in eight of 11 sectors in March helped exports rise 3.8 per cent to $47.0 billion, while volumes gained 2.5 per cent and prices increased 1.3 per cent.

Driving the gain was a 7.0 per cent increase in energy exports to $8.7 billion. A boost in natural gas exports attributable to cold temperatures in the northeastern United States and increased coal exports to Asia were both factors.

“Combined with a continued creep higher in crude prices, look for energy to continue being a catalyst in supporting Canadian exports,” CIBC economist Nick Exarhos wrote in a report.

Consumer goods exports also gained ground, climbing 6.8 per cent to $6.1 billion. Exports of other food products led the increase with a gain of 11.9 per cent to a record $1.4 billion, boosted by exports of yellow peas and red lentils to India.

On the other side of the equation, imports increased 1.7 per cent to $47.1 billion with gains in seven of 11 sectors. Prices rose 1.9 per cent and volumes fell 0.2 per cent.

Statistics Canada said higher imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products, industrial machinery, equipment and parts, and motor vehicles and parts were the main contributors.

Metal and non-metallic mineral product imports grew 10.4 per cent to $4.0 billion as unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys rose 61.1 per cent.

Imports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts increased 4.1 per cent to $4.4 billion, while motor vehicles and parts gained 1.5 per cent to reach a record high $9.3 billion.

On a regional basis, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States slipped to $4 billion in March compared with $4.5 billion in February.

Exports to the United States edged up 0.1 per cent to $34.4 billion, while imports from the United States increased 2.0 per cent to $30.4 billion.

Meanwhile, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed to $4.1 billion in March from $5.6 billion in February.

Craig Wong, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Bird count scheduled for Langley area

Volunteers collect data that is shared with the Metro Vancouver regional authority

B.C. man accused of impersonating an officer eludes capture

Arrest warrant still stands for Bryce Scott Telford

Gators take top spot at Top-Ten Shootout

Walnut Grove senior girls basketball team is a perfect 23-0 on the season

Tardi rink golden once again

Langley/New Westminster quartet will represent Canada at Scotland in early March

Giants, Rivermen on the NHL radar

Vancouver leads all WHL teams with five players on NHL Central Scouting list

Mom delivers plastic mats to Langley’s homeless

Jenifer Kosman fashions sleeping mats from plastic grocery bags

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Aldergrove celebrates Ukrainian New Year

Yevshan Ukrainian Dancers performed at Malanka festivities held in Aldergrove on Saturday

Semi rollover on Highway 3

Highway 3 is reduced to single-alternating lanes

Aldergrove businesses look to grow

Aldergrove Business Association (ABA) is looking for new faces and fresh ideas

Aldergrove gym offers free women’s self-defense course

The Foundry will also offer a free bully defense workshop for kids

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

Chilliwack’s David Lee Roth wannabe denied bail on underage sex crime charges

Unusual history of David Kuntz-Angel includes being known for impersonating the rock star

Protect your home and save: New sensor stops flooding in its tracks

BC-made system offers solution to damaging leaks from water tanks, dishwashers and more

Most Read