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Canada. Exports rise

Canada's merchandise exports rose 3.5% in September, while there was little change in imports. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with the world narrowed to $927 million from $2.0 billion in August.

Exports rose by $1.0 billion to $30.3 billion in September, as volumes increased 4.5%. Exports which have been on a downward trend since July 2008, reached a low point in May 2009. Since then, exports have increased in three of the past four months.

Automotive products, industrial goods and materials, and machinery and equipment were the main sources of growth for exports. Energy products mitigated the gains.

In September, imports edged down 0.1% to $31.2 billion, as volumes fell 0.8%. However, declines in imports in both August and September did not offset the strong gain in July 2009.

Declines occurred in imports of automotive products, machinery and equipment, energy products and agricultural and fishing products. These were mostly offset by a solid gain in imports of industrial goods and materials. If this sector was excluded, total imports would have declined 2.1%.

Exports to the United States increased 0.5% while imports grew 1.7%. As a result, Canada's trade surplus with the United States shrank to $2.1 billion in September from $2.3 billion in August.

Exports to countries other than the United States increased 12.4% and accounted for 88% of the increase in overall exports while imports declined 3.2%. Higher exports to the European Union were largely responsible for the increase in exports. Consequently, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed to $3.0 billion in September from $4.3 billion in August.

Rising volumes of automotive products lead the gain in exports
Exports of automotive products increased 15.8% to $4.2 billion in September, as volumes rose 17.4%. Exports of passenger autos, up 18.4%, led the gain as new models were introduced, and some manufacturers resumed production after summer shutdowns. Exports of motor vehicle parts grew 8.6%, reflecting increased vehicle production in the United States in an effort to replenish inventories, which were depleted during the summer "cash for clunker" sales. Exports of trucks and other motor vehicles also increased, following a decline in August.

Exports of industrial goods and materials grew 6.3% to $6.6 billion, largely the result of higher exports of metals and alloys which increased 12.3%. Precious metals such as non-monetary gold posted a strong gain, halting two months of declines. Other crude non-metallic minerals also posted a solid gain. Exports of copper ores, down 42.0%, moderated the increase in this sector.

Machinery and equipment exports were up 4.5% to $6.4 billion due to rising volumes. Aircraft and other transportation equipment (+8.6%), and industrial and agricultural machinery (+7.4%), were largely responsible for the gain in this sector.

Exports of energy products fell 2.5% to $6.4 billion. This third consecutive monthly decrease was the result of a 2.9% decline in prices. The main contributor to the fall was a 16.4% decline in petroleum and coal products which includes light oils and diesel fuel.

Little change in imports

After three consecutive months of increases, imports of automotive products fell 4.7% to $4.8 billion. The decline was the result of a 31.5% decrease in imports of trucks and other motor vehicles, as imports of passenger autos and motor vehicle parts increased. Imports of trucks and other motor vehicles had registered strong gains in August, in order to replenish inventories and compensate for vehicles no longer produced in Canada.

Imports of machinery and equipment decreased 1.7% to $8.8 billion. This represented a second straight month of decline, after the strong gains in July. Lower imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment were the main factor behind the decline, followed by office machines and equipment.

Lower imports of crude petroleum largely contributed to the decline in the energy product sector, which fell 4.5% to $2.8 billion. Imports of crude petroleum decreased 6.7% due to volume reductions, as inventories remained at high levels in September.

Imports of agricultural and fishing products decreased 4.7% to $2.4 billion. Although the declines were widespread throughout the sector, lower imports of beverages accounted for over one-third of the decline.

Imports of industrial goods and materials grew 8.5% to $6.4 billion. Metals and metal ores, up 20.9%, accounted for more than three-quarters of the increase. Imports of precious metals (such as gold and silver) led the increase, followed by metals in ores. Other chemicals such as inorganic chemicals, also registered gains in September.
© Statistics Canada -

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