Canadian export trade down in June

by Canadian Shipper

Imports rose slightly in June but Canada’s engine of growth, exports, took a dive the latest Statistics Canada report shows.

Canadian companies exported just over $36.1 billion worth of merchandise in June, a 1.4% drop from May. Imports gained a slight 0.8%, rising to $30.3 billion, as increases in the automotive and consumer goods sectors out-stripped declines in the energy products and industrial goods sectors.

As a result, Canada’s overall merchandise trade surplus fell to $5.8 billion.

Merchandise exports to the United States declined 1.1% to $30.7 billion, whereas imports from south of the border rose 1.5% to $22.3 billion. Consequently, the trade surplus with the United States fell from just under $9.0 billion in May to $8.3 billion in June. For the first half of 2001, Canada’s cumulative merchandise trade surplus stands at $40.3 billion – $13.2 billion higher than the same period in 2000.

Automotive, machinery and equipment exports were the lone bright spots.

In spite of the start of summer shutdown season for auto manufacturers, exports of automotive products increased 2.7% to $8.2 billion in June as inventory levels fell. Since March, automotive exports have risen in each consecutive month, a total of 11.7% over a four-month period. Motor vehicle parts exports rose for a fourth month in a row, climbing 1.9% to $2.3 billion.

Machinery and equipment exports rose slightly (+0.8%) to $8.4 billion in June, mainly a result of strong growth in the aircraft sector and an end-of-quarter jump in the wireless and telecommunications industries. Aircraft exports increased 7.4% to $2.1 billion, while telecom and related equipment exports rallied 2.3% to $1.3 billion following months of steep declines.

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