Canada Slips Back Into Trade Deficit in November


Canada's trade balance unexpectedly slipped back into deficit in November as strong imports, led by vehicles from the United States, outweighed export gains from rising oil prices.

The trade deficit totaled C$344 million ($334 million) as exports grew 1.1 percent from the previous month to C$31.58 billion and imports jumped 3.9 percent to C$31.93 billion, Statistics Canada said.

The agency upwardly revised the October surplus, which followed three months of deficits, to C$503 million from C$428 million previously.

Exports, hit by a strengthening Canadian dollar and anemic U.S. demand, would have fallen in November had it not been for the 6.2 percent rise in shipments of energy products as rising prices boosted crude petroleum sales to their highest level since October 2008. Exports of industrial goods and machinery, which led export growth in the previous two months, fell 2.5 percent on a slide in precious metals.

Most of the gains in imports came from automotive products, with imports of trucks and other motor vehicles surging 30 percent in the month. Machinery and equipment and energy products also contributed to the gains.

Imports from the United States accounted for two-thirds of the gain in overall imports, Statscan said. As a result Canada's surplus with its neighbor shrank to C$3.2 billion from C$3.5 billion in October.


TradingEconomics.com, Reuters
1/16/2010 2:12:36 PM