Monthly Merchandise Trade Report

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

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Summary

Canadian merchandise exports fell 0.7% to $41.1 billion in May while imports fell 0.8% to $44.4 billion. Canada’s merchandise trade deficit for the month of May stood at $3.3 billion, $40 million smaller than the previous month.

Canadian Merchandise Exports

Canadian merchandise exports fell 0.7% in May as volumes declined 2.3% but were partially offset by a 1.6% increase in prices.

  • Exports of energy products were up sharply for the month, increasing 7.1%, and driven by stronger prices which rose 9.7%, while volumes declined 2.3%. In May, Fort McMurray Alberta was evacuated due to wildfires and a number of oil sands processing facilities were shut as a safety precaution or to accommodate those evacuated. Despite this, Canadian crude oil and crude bitumen exports rose 10.5%, mostly on higher prices which were up 9.9% but volumes also managed to increase 0.6% as inventories were drawn-down and crude was diverted from Alberta refineries to export markets.
  • Although exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and forestry products saw modest gains for the month, all other major sectors saw declines.
  • Exports to the U.S. bucked the overall trend, increasing 3.6% in May but were more than offset by a decline in exports elsewhere with the fall in exports to the UK (down 45.4%) being particularly sharp. This is likely related to a sharp drop in Canadian exports of precious metals which fell 21.0% for the month and constitute a large part of Canadian exports to the UK.
  • Comparing the first five months of 2016 to the same period in 2015, exports are down 0.6%. This, however, still largely reflects the impact of lower oil prices. Excluding energy, Canadian exports are up 6.1% year-to-date.

Canadian Merchandise Imports

Canadian merchandise imports fell 0.8% in May as volumes declined 0.9% and prices rose 0.2%.

  • Some of the smaller categories of Canadian imports saw large swings in May. Imports of ores and minerals fell by 24.2% while imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment plunged 23.5%. Energy imports, on the other hand, jumped 18.2% in May. These three sectors combined, however, only constituted 10.3% of total Canadian imports for the month.
  • On a geographic basis, Canadian merchandise imports from the U.S. declined 1.1% in May. Imports from Japan saw the largest percentage decrease in imports for the month among major import sources, falling 18.6% while imports from the UK leapt 31.0% and imports from the Netherlands increased 29.8%. 

Canada’s Merchandise Trade Balance

Canada’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed by $40 million and stood at $3.3 billion in May.

  • The small change in the overall trade deficit masks sharp changes in its components. Canada’s trade surplus with the U.S. more than doubled to $2.8 billion in May, but was offset by movements elsewhere, most notably a near elimination of Canada’s surplus with the UK which stood at $1.1 billion in April but declined to only $175 million in May.
Key Export Trade Statistics by Region – May 2016
Region$ billionsChange over
previous month (%)
Change over
previous year (%)
YTD 2015
$ billions
YTD change
over previous year
United States32.0933.6-1.0161.1260.0
EU2.646-21.4-13.016.5671.8
China1.585-9.2-1.69.1073.1
Japan0.843-10.010.64.55010.4
Mexico0.716-7.25.93.55911.6
Other3.262-10.8-20.517.859-13.1
All41.145-0.7-3.4212.768-0.6
Key Import Trade Statistics by Region – May 2016
Region$ billionsChange over
previous month (%)
Change over
previous year (%)
YTD 2015
$ billions
YTD change
over previous year
United States29.336-1.1-1.5149.3740.3
EU4.2433.2-3.421.303-0.4
China3.0440.90.415.648-5.6
Japan0.859-18.6-3.34.532-1.7
Mexico1.581-2.75.77.8100.6
Other5.3581.2-7.527.0401.5
All44.422-0.8-2.1225.706-0.1
Key Trade Balance Statistics –  May 2016
Activity$ billionsChange over
previous month
Change over
previous year
YTD 2015
$ billions
YTD change
over previous
year
Exports41.145-0.7%-3.4%212.768-0.6%
Imports44.422-0.8%-2.1%225.706-0.1%
Trade Balance-3.277-3.317-2.762-12.939-11.804
Key Export Trade Statistics by Sector –  May 2016
Sector$ billionsChange over
previous month (%)
Change over
previous year (%)
YTD 2015
$ billions
YTD
change over
previous year
Farm, fishing and intermediate food products2.501-4.2-2.113.1791.0
Energy products5.3087.1-30.025.098-32.5
Metal ores and non-metallic minerals1.212-1.6-16.86.751-14.4
Metal and non-metallic mineral products4.521-5.4-1.823.398-4.2
Basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products2.696-1.9-9.014.222-4.0
Forestry products and building and packaging materials3.3142.16.117.0185.0
Industrial machinery, equipment and parts2.640-4.91.713.6302.4
Electronic and electrical equipment and parts2.275-1.33.711.8104.0
Motor vehicles and parts7.786-1.010.741.26723.9
Aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts1.9282.2-10.09.400-9.0
Consumer goods5.845-1.211.431.10117.3
Key Import Trade Statistics by Sector –  May 2016
Sector$ billionsChange over
previous month (%)
Change over
previous year (%)
YTD 2015
$ billions
YTD
change over
previous year
Farm, fishing and intermediate food products1.4303.36.57.1939.2
Energy products2.08618.2-27.29.032-33.0
Metal ores and non-metallic minerals0.732-24.2-16.94.361-0.3
Metal and non-metallic mineral products3.573-3.9-6.818.719-6.6
Basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products3.6344.8-2.518.179-0.3
Forestry products and building and packaging materials1.9650.2-3.210.147-0.6
Industrial machinery, equipment and parts4.064-3.0-5.421.513-4.7
Electronic and electrical equipment and parts5.1100.83.126.0980.4
Motor vehicles and parts8.655-0.12.443.7228.4
Aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts1.765-23.53.98.971.6
Consumer goods9.8490.40.650.2885.2
Key Rates and Indices - May 2016
TypeCurrent
month
Previous
month
Same month
previous year
Change over
previous month (%)
Change over
same month
previous year (%)
Commodity Price IndexFootnote 1370.8347.0454.46.9-18.4
Can/US Exchange Rate1.2941.2821.2181.06.2
Trade weighted exchange rateFootnote 296.697.5102.6-0.9-5.8
Terms of trade (2007 = 100)89.088.392.80.8-4.1
Canada-U.S. Trade in Billions of DollarsFootnote 3
MonthExportsImports
May 201632.09329.336
April 201631.28129.713
March 201630.58828.849
February 201632.36530.327
January 201635.00831.304
December 201533.64330.755
November 201532.77330.316
October 201532.39730.371
September 201533.39930.754
August 201534.19230.909
July 201535.15731.009
June 201534.35930.048
May 201532.41829.768
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
May 20162.6461.5850.8430.7163.262
April 20163.3751.7290.9480.7883.689
March 20163.8001.7970.9010.6833.407
February 20163.4011.9600.9780.7003.546
January 20163.3662.0950.9140.6924.011
December 20153.4721.7950.9260.6944.532
November 20153.2991.8070.9660.6713.929
October 20153.6301.7200.7440.6144.241
September 20153.2151.7450.8470.6554.207
August 20152.7421.8800.8550.7534.121
July 20153.3731.9370.8280.7123.921
June 20153.4551.7470.8370.6333.782
May 20153.0421.6110.7620.6764.101
Exports to the EU, China, Japan, Mexico and Others in Billions of Dollars
Exchange Rate Indices
MonthUS
dollar
Chinese
renminbi
EuroJapanese
yen
Mexican
peso
May 201694.199.192.884.8111.7
April 201695.199.293.486.1108.7
March 201692.196.692.386.1106.3
February 201688.393.388.783.7106.5
January 201685.790.888.083.8101.3
December 201588.992.591.089.599.2
November 201591.894.295.493.199.8
October 201593.295.492.592.6101.0
September 201591.894.391.291.3101.2
August 201592.794.892.794.2100.3
July 201594.794.896.096.698.8
June 201598.598.597.9100.999.8
May 2015100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
Exchange Rate Indices
Commodity
Price Indices
Footnote 5
MonthTotal, all
commodities
Total
excl. energy
EnergyForestryAgriculture
May 201681.690.874.4109.682.4
April 201676.489.965.1105.682.0
March 201673.188.959.9104.881.7
February 201665.586.348.898.579.4
January 201666.384.351.598.478.0
December 201571.184.760.198.578.2
November 201577.687.968.999.283.8
October 201581.790.074.499.186.0
September 201582.290.075.497.088.2
August 201580.392.969.8102.393.8
July 201590.897.884.7107.099.8
June 201599.899.999.7105.3101.7
May 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