Imports and exports drop in April
Canada’s merchandise imports and exports each declined in April from March as low prices tempered the effects of higher volumes.
According to Statistics Canada, exports were down one percent (from $33.3 billion to $32.9 billion), while imports fell 2.2 percent (from $33.5 billion to $32.8 billion).
Even with the declines, Canada’s trade balance with the rest of the world shifted from a $236-million deficit in March to a $175-million surplus in April.
Over the month, Canada maintained its trade surplus of $3.8 billion with the US.
In April, an 8.8 percent drop in imports of industrial goods contributed to the broad decrease. This reversed an 11.6 percent uptick in March.
Imports of metals and metal ores fell 13.3 percent, caused largely by a 30.8 percent plummet in precious metal exports.
Imports of other consumer goods fell six percent, while imports of machinery and equipment shifted course after two months of growth to decrease by 1.2 percent.
Exports of industrial goods and materials played a big part in the monthly drop, declining by three percent. After a strong March, precious metals declined 27.4 percent in April, while fertilizers and fertilizer materials declined 13.7 percent. Higher exports of crude animal products—in particular, mink fur—helped moderate the decline in the sector.
In the energy and energy products category, exports decreased 2.6 percent. A 20.9 percent drop in natural gas was largely to blame. Crude petroleum exports fell 3.1 percent.
Exports of agricultural and fishing products decreased 5.7 percent.
Tempering the overall decline was the machinery and equipment sector, which saw exports grow 4.6 percent, led by exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment.