Monthly Merchandise Trade Report

Monthly Report on Canada's International Merchandise Trade Performance, April 2015

PDF Version (231 KB)

Summary

Canada’s merchandise exports declined 0.7% in April, while merchandise imports declined even more, falling 2.5% for the month. Although exports of energy products increased in April, this was offset by declines in consumer products and forestry products. With the decline in imports outpacing that of exports, Canada’s merchandise trade balance in April narrowed to $3.0 billion from a revised $3.9 billion the previous month.

Canadian Merchandise Exports

Canadian merchandise exports fell 0.7% in April as a small increase in export volumes of 0.5% was offset by a 1.2% decline in export prices.

  • April’s decline was the 7th in the past 9 months. Exports are now 3.1% below the same month a year earlier. If energy is excluded, however, exports are up 6.2% compared to April 2014.
  • Energy products led export growth in April, increasing 5.9%, but are still nearly one-third down from a year earlier. The increase in energy exports in April was offset by declines in exports of consumer goods (down 6.0%), metal ores and non-metallic minerals (down 5.8%) and forestry products (down 5.0%).
  • Exports in April increased to Canada’s top two trading partners: exports to the U.S. increased 1.6% for the month while those to China were up 13.0%. On the other hand, declines were witnessed for the next 8 largest trading partners with the exception of South Korea which saw exports jump 41.5% in April. Declines were led by Hong Kong (down 23.9%) and Japan (down 19.4%).

Canadian Merchandise Imports

Canadian merchandise imports declined 2.5% in April with both volumes and prices falling (1.8% and 0.8% respectively).

  • The largest percentage declines in imports in April were posted by metals and minerals (down 11.3%) and agricultural products (down 8.5%).
  • Motor vehicle and parts imports increased 2.7% in April and are up 11.1% compared to a year earlier, modestly outpacing exports in that category which were up 0.9% over the previous month and 10.7% the same month last year. The reverse is true for electronic equipment for which imports declined 2.0% in April and were up only 5.4% for the year while exports were up 0.5% on a monthly basis and 11.4% year-over-year.  
  • The U.S., due to its sheer size, made a significant contribution to the month’s decline in imports although shrinking only 1.0%. China made the single largest contribution to the decline with imports falling 22.0% in April.

Canada’s Merchandise Trade Balance

Canada’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed in April to $3.0 billion, from a record level of $3.9 billion in March. Canada’s surplus with the U.S. widened significantly to $2.4 billion from $1.6 billion in March.  With the significant rise in Canadian exports to China and the sharp fall in imports, Canada’s trade deficit with that country shrunk by half to $1.1 billion from $2.2 billion in March.

 

Key Export Trade Statistics by Region – April 2015
Region$ billionsChange over previous monthChange over previous yearYTD 2015 $ billionsYTD change over previous year
United States31.8351.6-4.3127.182-3.2
EU3.006-9.912.013.10811.5
China1.95113.08.57.1335.0
Japan0.720-19.4-24.73.272-9.7
Mexico0.584-9.63.92.45650.9
Other3.816-10.5-4.216.494-0.4
All41.912-0.7-3.1169.645 -1.2
Key Import Trade Statistics by Region – April 2015
Region$ billionsChange over previous month (%)Change over previous year (%)YTD 2015 $ billionsYTD change over previous year (%)
United States29.416-1.03.0118.9265.5
EU4.342-1.45.316.8759.1
China3.084-22.02.613.50116.1
Japan1.0353.139.83.70023.2
Mexico1.5612.117.86.28516.6
Other5.4490.01.721.076-1.9
All44.886-2.54.1180.363 6.3
Key Trade Balance Statistics – April 2015
Activity$ billionsChange over previous monthChange over previous yearYTD 2015 $ billionsYTD change over previous year
Exports 41.912-0.7-3.1169.645-1.2
Imports44.886-2.54.1180.3636.3
Trade Balance-2.974-3.8530.127-10.7182.006
Key Export Trade Statistics by Sector – April 2015
Sector$ billionsChange over previous month (%)Change over previous year (%)YTD 2015 $ billionsYTD change previous year (%)
Farm, fishing and intermediate food products2.5351.7-1.610.4195.8
Energy products7.2985.9-31.629.276-36.1
Metal ores and non-metallic minerals1.594-5.8-2.06.4696.6
Metal and non-metallic mineral products4.869-1.410.519.82913.4
Basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products2.935-2.63.811.7600.8
Forestry products and building and packaging materials3.177-5.01.013.04510.5
Industrial machinery, equipment and parts2.6580.07.410.66613.3
Electronic and electrical equipment and parts2.2970.511.49.19718.3
Motor vehicles and parts6.6800.910.726.15813.5
Aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts1.896-3.27.58.05126.2
Consumer goods4.980-6.05.520.75711.2
Key Import Trade Statistics by Sector – April 2015
Sector$ billionsChange over previous month (%)Change over previous year (%)YTD 2015 $ billionsYTD change previous year (%)
Farm, fishing and intermediate food products1.285-8.5-1.25.3247.3
Energy products2.8837.4-15.910.868-27.2
Metal ores and non-metallic minerals0.98013.238.73.5252.0
Metal and non-metallic mineral products3.655-11.3-1.716.22910.6
Basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products3.523-4.8-9.814.503-0.5
Forestry products and building and packaging materials2.009-4.25.18.1819.9
Industrial machinery, equipment and parts4.505-2.48.518.38611.2
Electronic and electrical equipment and parts5.210-2.05.421.1359.6
Motor vehicles and parts8.1802.711.131.70111.0
Aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts1.8223.946.46.90435.0
Consumer goods9.414-6.24.737.8519.7
Key Trade Statistics Rates & Indices – April 2015
TypeCurrent monthPrevious monthSame month previous yearChange over previous month (%)Change over same month previous year (%)
Commodity Price IndexFootnote 1433.1414.5666.04.5-35.0
Can/Us Exchange Rate1.2331.2621.099-2.312.2
Trade weighted exchange rateFootnote 2101.599.3109.62.2-7.4
Terms of trade (2007=100)91.792.398.2-0.7-6.6
Canada-U.S. Trade in Billions of DollarsFootnote 3
MonthExportsImports
April 201531.83529.416
March 201531.33329.710
February 201531.69029.692
January 201532.32530.109
December 201432.83330.365
November 201433.06129.758
October 201433.38330.510
September 201433.52530.041
August 201433.68029.569
July 201434.27329.305
June 201433.75729.070
May 201434.21329.094
April 201433.26528.568

Exports to the EU, China, Japan, Mexico and Others in Billions of DollarsFootnote 4
MonthExports to EUExports to China Exports to JapanExports to MexicoExports to Others
April 20153.0061.9510.7200.5843.816
March 20153.3361.7270.8930.6464.262
February 20153.2551.7540.7420.6104.373
January 20153.5101.7010.9170.6164.044
December 20143.6891.6790.8800.6104.303
November 20143.1011.5280.8210.7814.317
October 20143.9201.6821.0010.4854.057
September 20143.7341.7520.9800.5284.288
August 20143.5381.8450.9060.5504.155
July 20143.7451.8081.0020.5634.179
June 20143.6591.7710.9720.5634.319
May 20143.3591.7660.9080.5804.195
April 20142.6841.7990.9560.5623.981

Exchange Rate Indices (CAN $ vs.)

Month

USDChinese RenminbiEURJapanese YenMexican Peso
April 201589.188.8113.8104.0103.7
March 201587.187.3111.2102.4101.6
February 201587.988.3107.0101.9100.4
January 201590.790.7107.9104.7102.0
December 201495.394.8106.8111.0105.9
November 201497.095.5107.4110.2101.2
October 201498.096.5106.8103.4101.1
September 201499.898.4106.9104.6101.1
August 2014100.699.4104.4101.1101.1
July 2014102.3101.9104.5101.7101.8
June 2014101.5101.6103.1101.1100.9
May 2014100.9101.1101.4100.399.8
April 2014100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0

Commodity Price IndicesFootnote 5
MonthTotalExcluding EnergyEnergyForestryAgriculture
April 201565.090.853.486.490.6
March 201562.291.747.990.891.8
February 201564.292.950.696.490.2
January 201563.394.947.799.392.9
December 201471.496.958.699.598.1
November 201483.897.775.899.998.6
October 201488.697.383.5100.996.6
September 201494.298.391.6102.795.9
August 201495.8100.892.6102.599.8
July 201499.2102.597.1101.9102.7
June 2014101.5100.4102.297.6102.9
May 2014100.1100.699.8100.8101.2
April 2014100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0

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.

Return to footnote 3 referrer

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