Canada's merchandise imports grew 0.7% and exports increased 0.5% in August. As a result, Canada's trade deficit with the world went from $539 million in July to $622 million in August.
Exports and imports
Imports increased to $38.5 billion as prices were up 0.8% and volumes decreased 0.1%. All sectors except energy products recorded price increases.
Exports rose to $37.9 billion, as higher prices were recorded in most sectors. Prices increased 1.6% while volumes declined 1.1%. Machinery and equipment, and industrial goods and materials were the main contributors to the gain in the value of exports. Both sectors were up for a fourth consecutive month.
Exports to the United States were down 2.3% to $26.6 billion. Imports from the United States rose 2.0% to $24.1 billion in August, the highest level since October 2008. Canada's trade surplus with the United States decreased from $3.7 billion in July to $2.5 billion in August.
Exports to countries other than the United States increased 7.9% to a record high of $11.2 billion. This represented a fourth consecutive monthly gain. Imports from countries other than the United States fell 1.4% to $14.4 billion. Consequently, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States declined from $4.2 billion in July to $3.2 billion in August.
Imports increase in most sectors
Imports of machinery and equipment gained 2.5% to reach $10.5 billion in August, as a result of widespread gains. The increase in the sector was a result of higher prices. Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment led the increase in value of imports.
Imports of automotive products increased 2.3% to $6.2 billion, as prices rose 2.0%. Imports of passenger autos and chassis rose for a fourth consecutive month. Trucks and other motor vehicles reached a record high in August as both price and volumes rose.
Imports of industrial goods and materials increased 1.7% to a record high of $8.3 billion. This gain was primarily attributed to chemicals and plastics, as other chemicals and related products rose 10.0%.
Moderating the overall increase in imports, the energy products sector declined 13.6% to $3.9 billion as crude petroleum fell 25.3%. The sector experienced growth in the early months of 2011, reaching $5.1 billion in May.
Machinery and equipment leads the gain in exports
Exports of machinery and equipment rose 7.3% to $7.4 billion in August, as volumes were up 5.5%. Aircraft and other transportation equipment increased for a fourth consecutive month, gaining 18.0% in August. Also contributing to the rise in the sector was other machinery and equipment with an increase of 4.1%.
Exports of industrial goods and materials posted an increase of 2.0% to $10.1 billion in August. Precious metals and alloys; and nickel ores, concentrates and scrap recorded the largest gains in the sector. These increases were partially offset by declines in exports of copper ores, concentrates and scrap.
Exports of energy products decreased 2.7% to $8.5 billion in August, led by declines in petroleum and coal products. Exports of crude petroleum have been trending downward after reaching a record high in January 2011.
Exports of automotive products decreased 7.5% to $4.5 billion as volumes fell 10.1%. Passenger autos and chassis was the primary contributor, declining 11.1%.