The balance on international trade in goods expanded by CAD 0.6 billion to CAD 2.9 billion in the third quarter, a third straight surplus following eight quarters of deficits. On a geographical basis, the surplus with the United States was down by CAD 1.5 billion to CAD 12.8 billion, as imports increased more than exports. Lower prices on energy products dampened the value of exports to the United States in the quarter. This was more than offset by changes in the goods balances with non-US countries.
Total exports of goods rose CAD 1.9 billion to CAD 135.0 billion, despite a decline in energy products. The largest gain was in the metal and non-metallic mineral products category (up CAD 1.3 billion), led by higher volumes of precious metals. Motor vehicles and parts, aircraft, other transportation equipment and parts as well as consumer goods were all up CAD 0.4 billion on higher volumes. Exports of energy products declined by CAD 1.1 billion, as prices of crude petroleum were down but volumes continued to expand.
Overall imports of goods were up CAD 1.3 billion to CAD 132.1 billion in the quarter. Metal and non-metallic mineral products increased CAD 0.5 billion, with higher volumes of precious metals accounting for half of the gain. Imports of energy products were up CAD 0.4 billion on higher volumes of crude petroleum and refined petroleum products. Volumes of natural gas imports declined in the third quarter from their peak in the previous quarter.
The deficit on international transactions in services narrowed CAD 0.2 billion in the third quarter to CAD 5.7 billion. This mainly reflected a lower travel deficit. Lower spending by Canadians travelling in the United States was the main factor behind the CAD 0.2 billion decline in the travel deficit, which reached CAD 4.4 billion. The transport services deficit edged down in the quarter, as receipts were up more than payments.
Cross-border foreign direct investment activity resulted in a net inflow of funds in the third quarter, as foreign direct investment in Canada outpaced Canadian direct investment abroad for a fourth straight quarter.
Foreign direct investment in Canada reached CAD 17.2 billion, the highest level since the second quarter of 2013. Funds injected into existing Canadian subsidiaries accounted for most of the investment, as inflows from cross-border mergers and acquisitions slowed. On an industry basis, foreign direct investment in the country was mainly directed to the energy and mining as well as the manufacturing sectors.