OTTAWA, Ont. — Canadian companies exported a record high $40.8 billion worth of merchandise goods in January while imports slowed, pushing our trade surplus with the world to its highest level in more than a year, according to Statistics Canada.
Exports rose for the third consecutive month, up 0.9%. Imports declined 2.8% to $34.4 billion in January, down from the previous month’s record high of $35.4 billion.
As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the world widened considerably from $5.0 billion to $6.3 billion, the largest surplus since December 2005.
Constant dollar exports, which refer to exports for which the change in prices has been removed in order to isolate the change in volumes, were slightly stronger, up 1.1%, while constant dollar imports were down a slightly more moderate 2.4%.
Exports to the United States were up 0.4% despite drops in automotive and energy products, while imports dropped 2.9% as a result of widespread declines. This yielded a trade surplus with the United States of $8.7 billion, the highest since January 2006.
Exports to countries other than the United States increased 2.6% to $9.6 billion as metals, drilling equipment and fishing vessels all headed overseas. Imports from these countries were down 2.6%, which resulted in a trade deficit of $2.4 billion. This was the lowest level since April 2004.
The trade deficit with countries other than the United States had been widening for several years until early 2006. It has since reversed as the steep increase in metal export values has outpaced Canada’s growing demand for consumer goods.
Also, for the first time since December 1995, Canada posted a merchandise trade surplus with the European Union.
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