Monthly Merchandise Trade Report

Monthly Report on Canada's International Merchandise Trade Performance, April 2016

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Summary

Canadian merchandise exports increased 1.5% in April while imports rose 0.9%. Canada’s monthly merchandise trade deficit narrowed to $2.9 billion in April from $3.2 billion in March.

Canadian Merchandise Exports

Canadian merchandise exports increased 1.5% in April as prices advanced 1.1% and volumes increased 0.5%. Overall, exports are up 0.3% for the first four months of 2016, and non-resource exports are up 14.5%, compared to the same period of 2015.

  • Recent increases in the price of oil are yet to be reflected in the export statistics in any meaningful way. Although energy exports jumped 7.6% in April, it was natural gas exports that accounted for most of the gain. Exports of natural gas leapt 43.2% for the month due largely to a spike in prices linked to below average seasonal temperatures in the northeastern U.S. at the beginning of April. Exports of crude oil and bitumen advanced a much more modest 3.5% in April on higher prices, but lower volumes.
  • Exports of machinery and equipment advanced 10.5% in April while exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment fell 10.0%. In particular, exports of aircraft shrank 24.6% in April after recording a 24.5% increase in March.
  • Given the sharp rise in exports of natural gas, it is no surprise that it was exports to the U.S. (up 2.3%), the destination for nearly all Canadian natural gas exports, that lead export growth. Indeed, exports to the rest of the world declined 0.6%. Of Canada’s top export destinations, the largest percentage declines were seen by the Netherlands (down 23.9%), Italy (down 22.3%), and the UK (down 14.7%).

Canadian Merchandise Imports

Canadian merchandise imports advanced 0.9% in April as volumes increased 0.8% and prices edged up 0.1%. Imports were 0.4% higher for the first four months of the year, compared to the same period last year.

  • In contrast to exports, aircraft and other transportation equipment underpinned the rise in imports, advancing 52.0% in April. Imports of aircraft in particular reached a record $986 million for the month. Like exports, energy products played an important role in April with imports advancing 5.9%. For imports, however, this increase was mostly driven by crude oil for which imports advanced 13.6%.
  • Of Canada’s top sources for imports, the U.S. lead growth as imports advanced 3.0%. Imports from sources other than the U.S. fell 3.0% in April with South Korea (down 26.3%), Germany (down 13.5%) and the UK (down 13.4%) witnessing the largest declines in percentage terms. 

Canada’s Merchandise Trade Balance

Canada’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed by $0.2 billion to $2.9 billion in April.

Key Export Trade Statistics by Region – April 2016
Region$ billionsChange over
previous month (%)
Change over
previous year (%)
YTD 2015
$ billions
YTD change
over previous year
United States31.2812.3-3.8129.2410.4
EU3.375-11.212.113.9425.4
China1.729-3.8-14.67.5815.0
Japan0.9485.325.03.74211.3
Mexico0.78815.430.82.86314.0
Other3.6898.3-4.514.653-10.9
All41.8101.5-2.3172.0210.3
Key Import Trade Statistics by Region – April 2016
Region$ billionsChange over
previous month (%)
Change over
previous year (%)
YTD 2015
$ billions
YTD change
over previous year
United States29.7133.0-0.2120.1930.9
EU4.079-6.5-7.317.0410.2
China3.0130.3-1.112.598-7.0
Japan0.99111.0-4.63.621-2.8
Mexico1.6204.23.56.224-0.7
Other5.331-6.3-0.421.6203.7
All44.7470.9-0.9181.2960.4
Key Trade Balance Statistics –  April 2016
Activity$ billionsChange over
previous month
Change over
previous year
YTD 2015
$ billions
YTD change
over previous
year
Exports41.8101.5%-2.3%172.0210.3%
Imports44.7470.9%-0.9%181.2960.4%
Trade Balance-2.937-3.176-2.384-9.275-9.041
Key Export Trade Statistics by Sector –  April 2016
Sector$ billionsChange over
previous month (%)
Change over
previous year (%)
YTD 2015
$ billions
YTD
change over
previous year
Farm, fishing and intermediate food products2.6202.40.110.6901.8
Energy products5.0497.6-31.919.823-33.1
Metal ores and non-metallic minerals1.238-3.2-22.85.551-13.6
Metal and non-metallic mineral products4.8245.7-0.918.928-4.5
Basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products2.772-1.3-6.811.546-2.5
Forestry products and building and packaging materials3.250-1.81.613.6784.6
Industrial machinery, equipment and parts2.78710.53.811.0122.7
Electronic and electrical equipment and parts2.3180.60.39.5644.4
Motor vehicles and parts7.933-1.015.733.59627.8
Aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts1.899-10.0-1.67.498-8.4
Consumer goods5.9741.515.425.35319.2
Key Import Trade Statistics by Sector –  April 2016
Sector$ billionsChange over
previous month (%)
Change over
previous year (%)
YTD 2015
$ billions
YTD
change over
previous year
Farm, fishing and intermediate food products1.3792.46.35.7579.7
Energy products1.6975.9-38.76.815-35.8
Metal ores and non-metallic minerals0.9792.14.83.6675.0
Metal and non-metallic mineral products3.698-1.70.515.113-6.7
Basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products3.454-2.9-1.814.530.2
Forestry products and building and packaging materials1.959-2.0-3.08.180.1
Industrial machinery, equipment and parts4.132-5.1-7.917.423-4.7
Electronic and electrical equipment and parts5.050-3.9-3.020.959-0.4
Motor vehicles and parts8.6740.64.435.09210.1
Aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts2.22352.017.17.1320.0
Consumer goods9.798-1.52.640.4536.5
Key Rates and Indices - April 2016
TypeCurrent
month
Previous
month
Same month
previous year
Change over
previous month (%)
Change over
same month
previous year (%)
Commodity Price IndexFootnote 1347.0332.2427.84.5-18.9
Can/US Exchange Rate1.2821.3231.233-3.14.0
Trade weighted exchange rateFootnote 297.594.9101.52.8-3.9
Terms of trade (2007 = 100)88.288.092.40.2-4.5
Canada-U.S. Trade in Billions of DollarsFootnote 3
MonthExportsImports
April 201631.28129.713
March 201630.41328.888
February 201632.45330.338
January 201635.00631.317
December 201533.62830.752
November 201532.78530.312
October 201532.34730.369
September 201533.38030.752
August 201534.21130.907
July 201535.18831.007
June 201534.30130.047
May 201532.42029.767
April 201532.51729.760
Canada-U.S. Trade in Billions of Dollars
Exports to the EU, China, Japan, Mexico and Others in Billions of DollarsFootnote 4
MonthExports to EUExports to ChinaExports to JapanExports to MexicoExports to Others
April 20163.3751.7290.9480.7883.689
March 20163.7951.7670.8960.6903.430
February 20163.3881.9850.9790.6983.548
January 20163.3682.1080.9120.6914.003
December 20153.4721.7950.9260.6954.533
November 20153.2971.8020.9640.6713.928
October 20153.6311.7210.7450.6154.243
September 20153.2141.7440.8460.6554.205
August 20152.7421.8800.8550.7534.121
July 20153.3721.9380.8280.7123.918
June 20153.4521.7420.8350.6313.775
May 20153.0411.6110.7610.6764.098
April 20153.0102.0230.7570.6013.863
Exports to the EU, China, Japan, Mexico and Others in Billions of Dollars
Exchange Rate Indices
MonthUS
dollar
Chinese
renminbi
EuroJapanese
yen
Mexican
peso
April 201696.2100.591.788.1110.6
March 201693.297.790.688.1108.1
February 201689.494.487.185.7108.3
January 201686.791.986.385.7103.0
December 201590.093.689.491.6100.9
November 201592.995.493.795.3101.5
October 201594.396.690.894.7102.8
September 201592.995.489.593.4102.9
August 201593.895.991.096.4102.1
July 201595.995.994.298.9100.5
June 201599.799.796.1103.2101.5
May 2015101.2101.298.2102.3101.7
April 2015100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
Exchange Rate Indices
Commodity
Price Indices
Footnote 5
MonthTotal, all
commodities
Total
excl. energy
EnergyForestryAgriculture
April 201681.190.772.6103.184.0
March 201677.789.766.8102.383.7
February 201669.687.054.496.081.3
January 201670.485.057.496.079.8
December 201575.585.467.096.180.1
November 201582.588.676.996.885.8
October 201586.890.883.096.788.0
September 201587.390.884.194.690.3
August 201585.393.777.899.896.0
July 201596.598.794.4104.4102.2
June 2015106.0100.8111.2102.7104.1
May 2015106.2100.9111.597.6102.4
April 2015100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
Commodity Price Indices

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Bank of Canada commodity price index: a chain Fisher price index of the US dollar prices of 24 commodities produced in Canada and sold in world markets, with weights updated on an annual basis.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Canadian dollar effective exchange rate index: a Bank of Canada trade-weighted index which measures the value of the Canadian dollar vis-à-vis the currencies of its most important trading partners. 

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

 The time series trade data do not include revisions to the historical figures.

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Footnote 4

The time series trade data do not include revisions to the historical figures.

Return to footnote 4 referrer

Footnote 5

Bank of Canada commodity price index, see previous page for details.

Return to footnote 5 referrer