OTTAWA(MNI) – Canada’s goods trade deficit narrowed to C$469 million in June from C$781 million in May, largely due to a gain in export volumes. Despite the shrinkage, June marked the the 18th consecutive deficit, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.
The May deficit was revised from C$303 million and was pulled lower mainly due to further weakening of exports.
Canadian exports rose for the first time in three months, rising 1.4% to C$39.6 billion, led by gains in metal and non-metallic mineral products (+11.6% to C$4.8 billion), aircraft and other transportation equipment (+24.2% to C$ 1.7 billion) and motor vehicles and parts (+5.5% to C$5.8 billion).
An increase in volumes of unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys (+32.0%) was the primary reason for exports growing in metal and non-metallic mineral products. Additional upward support was provided by unwrought nickel and nickel alloys (+47.6%) as well.
The increase in exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment was largely a result of higher volumes, led by exports of aircraft (+59.6% to C$825 million), the agency said.
In the motor vehicles and parts sector, the increase was led by strengthening volumes and prices of passenger cars and light trucks, up 4.5% and 0.9% respectively.
The overall export growth was moderated by declines in exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products (-9.4% to C$2.1 billion) and forestry products and building and packaging materials (-7.3% to C$2.6 billion).
Canadian imports grew 0.6% to C$40.0 billion after retreating 2.7% to C$39.8 billion in May, and were higher mainly due to increase in imports of energy products (+20.1% to C$3.8 billion) and aircraft and other transportation equipment (+27.3% to C$1.3 billion).
Energy product imports surged 20.1% to C$3.8 billion largely due to a 16.7% increase in volumes. Crude oil and crude bitumen imports advanced 53.0% after declining 33.5% in May, while imports of refined petroleum energy products retreated 15.1%, holding back the overall increase.
An increase in imports of aircraft, ships, locomotives, railway rolling stock and rapid transit equipment contributed the most to the gain in aircraft and other transportation equipment.
Declines in imports of consumer goods (-2.9% to C$8.0 billion), basic and industrial, chemical, plastic and rubber products (-6.7% to C$3.2 billion) and electronic and electrical equipment and parts (-3.5% to C$4.8 billion) moderated the overall increase in imports.
Imports from the U.S. fell 0.8% to C$25.6 billion, while exports rose 1.5% to C$29.4 billion, lifting Canada’s trade surplus with the U.S. to C$3.8 billion from C$3.2 billion in May. Despite the slide in imports, year-to-date totals for U.S. imports reached C$153.3 billion, its highest value on record, the agency said.
Imports from countries other than the U.S. increased 3.3% to C$14.5 billion while exports grew 1.4% to C$10.2, billion, as a result Canada’s trade deficit with non-U.S. countries widened to C$4.3 billion from C$3.9 billion in May.