The trade in goods deficit expanded by CAD 5.2 billion to a record CAD 7.2 billion in the first quarter, from a CAD 2.0 billion deficit in the precedent quarter.
Overall exports of goods declined CAD 4.1 billion to CAD 128.0 billion in the first quarter. Energy product values were down CAD 5.9 billion despite higher volumes (+3.9 percent). This reduction was concentrated in crude petroleum prices which fell 32 percent in the quarter, reaching their lowest levels since the first quarter of 2009. Metal and non-metallic mineral products also declined in the first quarter (-CAD 0.8 billion) as export volumes of precious metals shrank. In contrast, exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products were up by CAD 0.6 billion, mostly on higher volumes of wheat. Exports of consumer goods rose CAD 0.5 billion on higher prices. Forestry products, electronic and electrical equipment and parts as well as aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts exported each increased by CAD 0.4 billion in the quarter on higher volumes and prices.
Total imports of goods advanced CAD 1.1 billion to CAD 135.3 billion. The largest gains were in electronic and electrical equipment and parts, up CAD 1.1 billion on larger volumes of communications and audio and video equipment. Consumer goods increased by CAD 1.0 billion while industrial machinery, equipment and parts increased CAD 0.7 billion, both led by higher prices. On the other hand, imports of energy products were down by CAD 1.7 billion, reflecting reduced prices but higher volumes.
The deficit on international trade in services narrowed by CAD 0.1 billion to CAD 5.6 billion in the first quarter. The travel account deficit shrank by CAD 0.2 billion. The surplus on trade in commercial services edged down, as imports advanced by more than exports. The deficit on transportation services was up slightly in the quarter.
The investment income deficit was reduced by CAD 0.7 billion to CAD 3.7 billion in the first quarter, as income received on foreign investments were up and profits earned in Canada by foreign direct investors edged down. However, payments on portfolio investment liabilities increased by CAD 0.3 billion, led by higher interest payments on foreign currency denominated Canadian corporate bonds.