Monthly Merchandise Trade Report

Monthly Report on Canada's International Merchandise Trade Performance, July 2017

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Exports fell in July, but imports fell more so.

Trade Balance

  • Canada’s merchandise trade deficit fell to $3.0 billion in July, from a $3.8-billion deficit in June. 


  • Total exports fell 4.9% to $44.1 billion in July, following a decline in June.
    • Exports decreased in most sectors.
    • Lower prices were behind much of the decline.



  • After seven consecutive monthly increases, imports fell 6.0% in July, to $47.2 billion.
    • Imports declined in all commodity sectors and prices were largely responsible for this decrease. 

Chart 1: Value of Canada's trade in goods, July 2012 to July 2017

Canada-U.S. Trade in Billions of Dollars

Source: CANSIM Table 228-0059, Merchandise imports and exports, Balance of payments basis, seasonally adjusted.

Text Version
Merchandise exports and imports, billions of dollars
July 201237.540.6
August 201238.039.1
September 201237.938.9
October 201238.338.7
November 201238.540.1
December 201238.538.9
January 201338.639.5
February 201339.540.2
March 201340.040.2
April 201340.640.7
May 201339.640.5
June 201339.540.0
July 201338.740.3
August 201340.741.5
September 201341.041.1
October 201340.340.7
November 201340.241.4
December 201340.541.4
January 201440.641.1
February 201443.242.4
March 201444.442.8
April 201443.743.4
May 201445.344.8
June 201444.843.6
July 201445.143.9
August 201444.844.1
September 201444.644.5
October 201444.645.1
November 201443.844.3
December 201443.644.6
January 201542.744.6
February 201542.744.3
March 201543.246.4
April 201543.045.4
May 201542.845.6
June 201545.145.7
July 201545.546.4
August 201544.546.8
September 201544.046.1
October 201543.045.3
November 201543.445.5
December 201544.945.8
January 201645.346.7
February 201643.445.7
March 201641.644.6
April 201641.644.7
May 201641.345.2
June 201641.445.4
July 201643.245.4
August 201643.745.7
September 201643.447.7
October 201643.945.3
November 201646.245.1
December 201646.245.9
January 201746.646.5
February 201745.346.7
March 201746.947.6
April 201747.548.5
May 201748.949.9
June 201746.450.2
July 201744.147.2


Canadian Merchandise Exports

Canadian merchandise exports: After posting a 5.0% decline in June, total exports were down 4.9% (or $2.3 billion), to $44.1 billion in July. This occurred as the Canadian dollar gained 3.6 cents US relative to the American dollar from June to July. Motor vehicles and parts (-9.6%, to $7.4 billion), as well as aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts (-18.3%, to $1.8 billion) were the main contributors to the decrease.

For the first seven months of the year, exports were up 9.4%, compared to the same period last year.

Canadian Merchandise Imports

Canadian merchandise imports: After seven consecutive monthly increases, total imports fell 6.0%, to $47.2 billion; prices, (down 3.8%), were largely responsible for this decrease. Lower imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts (-35.2%, to $1.6 billion), and motor vehicles and parts (-4.4%, to $9.1 billion), led the decrease in July.  

For the first seven months of the year, total imports were up 6.0% compared to the same period last year.  

United States:

  • Canada’s trade surplus with the United States widened to $2.9 billion in July, from $1.8 billion in June.
  • Exports to the United States were down 3.2% to $33.3 billion in July, mainly on lower exports of passenger cars and light trucks.
  • Imports from the United States decreased 6.7% to $30.4 billion, led by lower imports of aircraft.
Table 1: Changes in Canadian Trade: monthly, year-to-date and by principal trading partners
($ millions)
% change
previous year 
($ millions)
% change
previous year 
Source: CANSIM Table 228-0069, Merchandise imports and exports, Balance of payments basis, seasonally adjusted, current dollars.
All Countries44,139-2,2969.4%47,179-3,0206.0%
% Changen.a.-4.9%n.a.n.a.-6.0%n.a.
Volume changen.a.-1.1%n.a.n.a.-2.3%n.a.
Price changen.a.-3.9%n.a.n.a.-3.8%n.a.
United States33,326-1,0907.630,422-2,1933.7
Mexico718-185.7 1,668-14911.0
  United Kingdom1,354-28214.3703-2414.1
South Korea378-9128.7599-11912.7

Countries other than United States:

  • Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the U.S. rose from $5.6 billion in June, to $5.9 billion in July.
  • Exports to non-U.S. countries declined 10.0% to $10.8 billion.
  • Lower exports to the United Kingdom (unwrought gold), to Japan (copper, canola and seafood) and Saudi Arabia (personal transportation equipment) were responsible for the decrease.
  • Imports from countries other than United States were down 4.7% with lower imports of bauxite from Brazil and motor vehicles parts from Mexico.


In July, exports declined 4.9% to $44.1 billion, with decreases in 9 of 11 sectors. Export volumes were down 1.1% while export prices decreased 3.9%.

Export highlights

  • Exports of motor vehicles and parts fell 9.6% to $7.4 billion, the strongest decrease since August 2014.
    • Exports of passenger cars and light trucks (-12.6%, to $5.0 billion) were mostly responsible for the decline.
  • Exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts were down 18.3%, to $1.8 billion, after four consecutive monthly increases.
    • Exports of aircraft led the decline, falling 23.9% due to lower exports to the United States.


In July, imports fell 6.0% to $47.2 billion, after seven consecutive monthly increases, with declines observed in all 11 sectors. Import volumes were down 2.3%, while import prices posted a 3.8% loss.

Import highlights

  • Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts decreased 35.2% to $1.6 billion, following a record observed in June.
    • Aircraft imports led this decrease, with a slowdown in imports of airliners in July after two months of strong growth.
  • Imports of motor vehicles and parts also contributed to the decline, down 4.4% to $9.1 billion.
    • Imports of motor vehicle engines and motor vehicle parts (-13.0%) were responsible for the decrease, as planned closures in the automotive manufacturing industry were longer this year.


Table 2: Exports and Imports by commodities – July 2017 and % change July 2016 to July 2017
July 2017
($ millions)
% change
revious year
($ millions)
% change
previous year
Resource Products22,5909.8%      14,363 0.6%
  Energy7,09424.3%      2,302-17.3%
Non-resource Products20,322-5.3%      31,028 4.8%
  Industrial Machinery & Equipment2,9275.5%        4,51110.7%
Electronic./Electric. Machin. & Equip.2,263-2.8%        5,5215.1%
  Motor Vehicles7,415-10.7%        9,0960.9%
  Aircrafts/Other Transportation Equip.1,802-16.0%        1,5787.2%
  Consumer Goods5,9160.0%      10,3235.4%
All commodities44,1392.2%      47,179 4.0%

Source: CANSIM 228-0059, North American Product Classification System 2007 – seasonally adjusted. Totals don’t add up as “Special transactions trade” and “Other balance of payments adjustments” are not included.