Canadian international merchandise trade
Canada’s merchandise trade deficit totalled $3.0 billion in July, narrowing from a $3.8 billion deficit in June. Imports fell 6.0% and exports decreased 4.9%, both due mainly to the effect of widespread price decreases, while the Canadian dollar appreciated sharply relative to the American dollar in July.
Widespread declines in imports in July
Total imports fell 6.0% in July to $47.2 billion, following seven consecutive monthly increases, with declines observed in all commodity sections. Prices were largely responsible for this decrease, falling 3.8%. This occurred as the Canadian dollar gained 3.6 cents USrelative to the American dollar from June to July.
The decrease in import values was partially attributable to aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts, as well as motor vehicles and parts. Year over year, imports rose 4.0%.
Following a record observed in June, imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts fell 35.2% to $1.6 billion in July. Aircraft imports led this decrease, with a slowdown in imports of airliners in July after two months of strong growth.
Imports of motor vehicles and parts also contributed to the decline, down 4.4% to $9.1 billion. Imports of motor vehicle engines and motor vehicle parts (-13.0%) were responsible for the decrease in July, as planned closures in the automotive manufacturing industry were longer this year. Overall, prices in the section declined 2.6% and volumes decreased 1.8%.
Lower export values mainly due to prices
After posting a 5.0% decline in June, total exports fell 4.9% in July to $44.1 billion, with decreases observed in 9 of 11 sections. Prices decreased 3.9%, while volumes were down 1.1%. Motor vehicles and parts, as well as aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts contributed the most to the decline. In July, exports excluding energy products were down 5.2%. Year over year, total exports were up 2.2%.
Exports of motor vehicles and parts fell 9.6% to $7.4 billion in July, the strongest decrease since August 2014. Exports of passenger cars and light trucks (-12.6%) were mostly responsible for the decline. As was the case with imports of motor vehicle engines and motor vehicle parts, longer planned closures in the automotive manufacturing industry in July were behind the decrease. Overall, prices were down 4.5% and volumes decreased by 5.4%.
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