Monthly Merchandise Trade Report

Monthly Report on Canada's International Merchandise Trade Performance, August 2014

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Summary

Canada’s monthly merchandise trade balance moved into deficit in August after three months of surpluses. August’s deficit of $610 million was the result of both falling exports (down 2.5%) and increasing imports (up 3.9%). Year-to-date exports remain 10.5% higher compared to the same period a year earlier. 

Canadian Merchandise Exports

Canadian merchandise exports fell 2.5% in August with declines in 9 out of 11 sectors and 4 out of five regions. Most of the decline was due to lower volumes, which fell 1.8%, but lower export prices also played a role in the decline, down 0.7% for the month.

  • The only two sectors that did not see a decline in exports in August were Aircraft and Other Transportation Equipment (up 26.8%) and Chemicals (up 4.9%). Indeed, exports of Aircraft and Other Transportation Equipment posted their second highest monthly exports on record. Although all other sectors experienced a decline in exports for the month, it was Motor Vehicles and Parts (down 26.8%) and Energy Products (down 5.8%) that contributed most to the overall fall in exports.
  • Given the role of Motor Vehicles and Parts and Energy Products in the overall fall in exports, it is not surprising that exports to the U.S. saw the largest fall for the month, down $848 million. The fall in exports to the U.S., however, represents a decline of just 2.5%, compared to exports to Japan, which fell 9.9% for the month, and exports to the EU which declined 4.4%.

  

Canadian Merchandise Imports

Canadian merchandise imports strengthened considerably in August, increasing 3.9%, to a record $44.8 billion. The majority of this increase was due to higher volumes  (up 2.4%) but prices also played a role (up 1.5%).

  • Imports of Metal and Non-metallic Mineral Products contributed most to the increase in imports (up $856 million), and also saw the second fastest growth rate at 24.1%. The only sector growing faster was the related Metal Ores and Non-metallic Minerals (up 33.2%), although from a much smaller base. Increased imports of Energy Products (up 20.8%) also made a significant contribution to import growth in August.
  • Geographically, most of the increase in imports for the month was due to a large spike in imports from Non-OECD countries which jumped $1.1 billion, or 18.8% and was largely in the form of Crude Oil and Bitumen. 

Canada’s Merchandise Trade Balance

Canada’s merchandise trade balance turned to a deficit of $610 million for the month of August as Canada’s surpluses in July with the U.S. and Japan shrank (from $4.8 billion to $3.5 billion with the U.S. and from $246 million to $153 million with Japan) and deficits with the EU and all other countries widened (from $432 to $653 million with the EU and from $2.4 billion to $3.6 billion with all other countries). Year-to-date, Canada has a merchandise trade surplus of $4.7 billion compared to a deficit of $5.3 billion over the same period in 2013. 

 

Key Export Trade Statistics by Region – August 2014
Region$ billionsChange over previous monthChange over previous yearYTD 2014 $ billionsYTD change over previous year
United States33.256-2.5%8.4%265.28312.4%
EU3.476-4.4%39.9%26.0449.2%
Japan0.904-9.9%1.1%7.3971.3%
Other6.553-0.21.5%51.4143.6%
All44.189-2.5%9.1%350.13810.5%
Key Import Trade Statistics by Region –August 2014
Region$ billionsChange over previous monthChange over previous yearYTD 2014 $ billionsYTD change over previous year
United States29.7441.4%14.2%229.46627.9%
EU4.1291.5%10.9%32.36818.0%
Japan0.751-0.9%-6.6%6.1367.3%
Other10.17513.8%-4.0%77.48111.6%
All44.7993.9%8.8%345.45122.5%
Key Trade Balance Statistics – August 2014
 $ billionsChange over previous monthChange over previous yearYTD 2014 $ billionsYTD change over previous year
Exports44.189-2.5%9.1%350.13810.5%
Imports44.7993.9%8.8%345.45122.5%
Trade Balance-0.610$2.195$-0.6594.687$10.891
Trade with ChinaFootnote 1 (Customs basis) – August 2014
 $ billionsChange over previous monthChange over previous yearYTD 2014 $ billionsYTD change over previous year
Exports1.582n.a.7.1%12.684-0.9%
Imports5.097n.a.4.9%36.84611.1%
Trade Balance-3.515n.a.$-3.382-24.162$-20.370
Key Export Trade Statistics by Sector – August 2014
Sector$ billionsChange over previous monthChange over previous yearYTD 2014 $ billionsYTD change previous year
Farm, fishing and intermediate food products2.865-1.0%34.6%21.31815.9%
Energy products10.463-5.8%2.7%89.52821.1%
Metal ores and non-metallic minerals1.520-1.7%3.1%12.2293.3%
Metal and non-metallic mineral products4.864-1.9%7.9%36.581-0.2%
Basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products3.0454.9%4.4%23.4350.5%
Forestry products and building and packaging materials3.031-2.3%7.1%24.1749.2%
Industrial machinery, equipment and parts2.414-1.0%4.2%19.1698.5%
Electronic and electrical equipment and parts2.012-2.3%8.6%15.8114.5%
Motor vehicles and parts6.064-11.2%4.9%48.5858.1%
Aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts2.14026.8%57.2%13.56917.5%
Consumer goods4.8340.0%12.9%38.20511.4%
Key Import Trade Statistics by Sector – August 2014
Sector$ billionsChange over previous monthChange over previous yearYTD 2014 $ billionsYTD change previous year
Farm, fishing and intermediate food products1.218-3.3%13.1%9.95613.6%
Energy products4.25120.8%12.9%30.1022.4%
Metal ores and non-metallic minerals1.06933.2%21.3%7.102-9.3%
Metal and non-metallic mineral products4.40224.1%32.2%30.05211.6%
Basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products3.733-2.2%5.0%29.78011.0%
Forestry products and building and packaging materials1.8800.4%5.7%14.9717.6%
Industrial machinery, equipment and parts4.121-2.4%6.2%33.26410.6%
Electronic and electrical equipment and parts4.8512.7%3.2%38.6163.0%
Motor vehicles and parts7.241-7.2%0.4%58.9175.1%
Aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts1.210-15.0%-15.2%10.76312.4%
Consumer Goods9.0464.4%10.9%70.1419.0%
Key Trade Statistics Rates & Indices – August 2014
 Current monthPrevious monthSame month previous yearChange over previous monthChange over same month previous year
Commodity Price IndexFootnote 2634.5657.8660.0-3.5%-3.9%
Can/Us Exchange Rate1.0931.0741.0411.8%5.0%
Trade weighted exchange rateFootnote 3110.7112.3116.0-1.5%-4.6%
Terms of trade (2007=100)96.897.298.2-0.4%-1.4%
Canada-U.S. TradeFootnote 4 in Billions of Dollars
MonthExportsImports
August 201433.25629.744
July 201434.10429.345
June 201433.50928.845
May 201433.92728.650
April 201432.81828.679
March 201433.34228.641
February 201433.10228.292
January 201431.22527.270
December 201331.18727.500
November 201330.20127.327
October 201330.21726.715
September 201331.05426.399
August 201330.67426.039
Trade with EU, Japan and OthersFootnote 5 in Billions of Dollars
MonthExports to EUImports from EUExports to JapanImports from JapanExports to OthersImports from Others
August 20143.4764.1290.9040.7516.55310.174
July 20143.6384.0701.0040.7586.5678.945
June 20143.6184.0850.9680.7526.6439.433
May 20143.2984.5800.8940.8726.53910.239
April 20142.6964.0960.9440.7506.3209.844
March 20143.4463.9570.9470.6976.3239.595
February 20143.1413.7440.9090.7396.2049.740
January 20142.7313.7090.8280.8166.2669.511
December 20132.7393.4341.0130.7836.0929.850
November 20132.6243.8050.8360.7626.2409.237
October 20132.9513.9970.8940.7706.2259.284
September 20132.9593.9110.9220.7466.40210.005
August 20132.4853.7220.8940.8056.45310.599
Exchange Rate Indices (CAN $ vs.)
MonthUSDChinese RenminbiEURJapanese YenGBP
August 201495.395.795.3100.388.5
July 201496.998.195.4100.988.1
June 201496.197.894.1100.388.2
May 201495.597.492.699.588.0
April 201494.796.391.399.287.7
March 201493.794.590.298.187.5
February 201494.293.591.798.388.2
January 201495.194.093.0101.089.6
December 201397.897.195.0103.492.6
November 201399.298.797.9101.695.5
October 2013100.4100.198.0100.496.8
September 2013100.6100.610.3102.198.3
August 2013100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
Commodity Price IndicesFootnote 6
MonthTotalExcluding EnergyEnergyForestryAgriculture
August 2014104.0100.3106.393.2105.7
July 2014100.398.6101.493.8100.7
June 201497.8100.196.498.099.0
May 201499.099.498.794.899.6
April 201499.1100.098.595.6100.6
March 2014100.3100.1100.392.5101.2
February 2014100.1104.097.892.0111.6
January 2014104.7104.4104.991.4112.8
December 2013106.2105.5106.693.1112.7
November 2013112.2103.6118.391.4109.5
October 2013106.5103.0108.994.7109.3
September 2013101.5101.9101.396.9106.1
August 2013100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Chinese trade data is only available on a customs basis, whereas all other data are on a balance of payments basis and are therefore not strictly comparable.

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Footnote 2

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.

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Footnote 3

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.

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Footnote 4

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

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Footnote 5

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

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Footnote 6

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

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