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Canadian Exports Hit Record High
Canadian Exports Hit Record High

Canadian Exports Hit Record High

Canadian Exports Hit Record High

The energy and consumer goods sectors helped Canadian exports rise to a record high in March as the country’s trade deficit narrowed to $135 million, Statistics Canada said Thursday. Economists had expected a deficit of $800 million, according to Thomson Reuters.
 “This is a solid report,” said Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates and macro strategist at BMO Capital Markets. The shortfall followed a revised deficit of $1.1 billion for February compared with an initial reading of a deficit of $972 million for the month.
Gains in eight of 11 sectors in March helped exports rise 3.8% to $47.0 billion, while volumes gained 2.5% and prices increased 1.3%.
Driving the gain was a 7% increase in energy exports to $8.7 billion. A boost in natural gas exports attributable to cold temperatures in the northeastern United States and increased coal exports to Asia were both factors.
“Combined with a continued creep higher in crude prices, look for energy to continue being a catalyst in supporting Canadian exports,” CIBC economist Nick Exarhos wrote in a report.
Consumer goods exports also gained ground, climbing 6.8% to $6.1 billion. Exports of other food products led the increase with a gain of 11.9% to a record $1.4 billion, boosted by exports of yellow peas and red lentils to India.
On the other side of the equation, imports increased 1.7% to $47.1 billion with gains in seven of 11 sectors. Prices rose 1.9% and volumes fell 0.2%.
Statistics Canada said higher imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products, industrial machinery, equipment and parts, and motor vehicles and parts were the main contributors.
Metal and non-metallic mineral product imports grew 10.4% to $4.0 billion as unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys rose 61.1%.
Imports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts increased 4.1% to $4.4 billion, while motor vehicles and parts gained 1.5% to reach a record high $9.3 billion.
On a regional basis, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States slipped to $4 billion in March compared with $4.5 billion in February.
Exports to the United States edged up 0.1% to $34.4 billion, while imports from the United States increased 2% to $30.4 billion.

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