Canada's merchandise exports rose 2.2% and imports edged up 0.5% in July. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with the world narrowed from $1.4 billion in June to $753 million in July.
Chart description: Exports and imports
Exports increased to $37.3 billion, as volumes rose in most sectors. Overall, volumes rose 4.1%, while prices declined 1.9%. Machinery and equipment, automotive products, and industrial goods and materials were the main contributors to the gain in the value of exports.
Imports grew slightly to $38.0 billion as prices increased 0.9% and volumes decreased 0.4%. In July, imports from Japan surpassed $800 million, a level similar to those observed prior to the earthquake and tsunami in March.
Imports from the United States rose 3.1% to $23.6 billion in July. Exports were up 2.1% to $27.0 billion. Canada's trade surplus with the United States went from $3.5 billion in June to $3.4 billion in July.
Imports from countries other than the United States fell 3.6% to $14.4 billion. Exports to countries other than the United States increased 2.4% to $10.3 billion. Consequently, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed from $4.9 billion in June to $4.1 billion in July.
Exports rise in most sectors
Exports of machinery and equipment increased for a third straight month, rising 5.5% to $6.8 billion in July. Volumes were up 5.3%. Leading the gain in value were aircraft, engines and parts, up 16.1%; and telecommunication equipment, which increased 12.6%.
Exports of automotive products rose 7.6% to $4.9 billion, on the strength of higher volumes. Passenger autos and chassis was the main contributor to the gains in this sector.
Exports of industrial goods and materials increased for a third consecutive month, up 2.8% to $9.9 billion in July. Metal ores rose 48.1% to reach a record high of $1.6 billion, led by copper ores, concentrates and scrap; and nickel ores, concentrates and scrap. Partially offsetting this increase was a 10.4% decline in chemicals, plastics and fertilizers, largely as a result of lower exports of fertilizers and fertilizer materials.
Exports of energy products decreased 2.1% to $8.4 billion in July, as both prices and volumes declined. Crude petroleum exports, which were down for a fourth consecutive month, accounted for the decline.
Machinery and equipment moderates the rise in imports
Imports of automotive products increased 5.8% to $6.1 billion in July, with gains in all sub-sectors. Volumes rose 6.6% while prices declined 0.7%.
Imports of energy products grew 6.1% to $4.3 billion. Crude petroleum imports rose 44.0% as some refineries resumed production. Following record levels of imports in June, petroleum and coal products, namely light oils and preparations, declined 28.5%.
Imports of industrial goods and materials fell 1.5% to $8.1 billion in July, as a result of widespread declines. Metals in ores, concentrates and scrap; and organic chemicals were the main contributors to this decrease.
Machinery and equipment fell 5.3% to $10.2 billion, as volumes declined. After reaching a record level in June, imports of industrial and agriculture machinery decreased in July.