Monthly Merchandise Trade Report
Monthly Report on Canada's International Merchandise Trade Performance, January 2020
PDF Version – March 2020 (231 KB)
Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with the world widened in January, as exports fell more than imports.
- Canada’s trade deficit with the world increased from $732 million in December to $1.5 billion in January.
- Exports contracted 2.0% in January to reach $48.1 billion.
- Export decreases were widespread, occurring in 9 of 11 sectors.
- Lower exports of motor vehicles and energy products drove the overall export decrease.
- Imports edged down 0.5% to $49.6 billion in January.
- Import decreases were observed in 6 of 11 sectors.
- Consumer goods posted the largest decrease.
Chart 1: Value of Canada's trade in goods, January 2015 to January 2020
Source: Statistics Canada Table 12-10-0011-01, Merchandise imports and exports, Balance of payments basis, seasonally adjusted.
Canadian Merchandise Exports
Canadian merchandise exports: decreased 2.0% in January, to $48.1 billion. Decreases were observed in 9 of 11 sectors.
In January 2020, exports were down 0.5% compared to January 2019.
Canadian Merchandise Imports
Canadian merchandise imports: declined 0.5% to $49.6 billion in January with decreases observed in 6 of 11 sectors.
In January 2020, imports were down 4.9% compared to January 2019.
- Exports to the United States decreased 1.7% to $35.7 billion in January.
- Imports from the United States were up 1.6% to $32.2 billion, the first increase in five months.
- As a result, Canada’s merchandise trade surplus with the United States narrowed from $4.7 billion in December to $3.6 billion in January.
|Source: Statistics Canada Table 12-10-0011-01, Merchandise imports and exports, Balance of payments basis, seasonally adjusted, current dollars.|
Countries other than United States:
- Exports to non-U.S. countries fell 2.8% in January.
- There were lower exports to European countries (mainly Italy, Germany and Belgium), as well as to China.
Higher exports of gold to the United Kingdom and Hong Kong partially offset the decrease.
- Imports from countries other than the United States declined 4.1% in January.
- There were lower imports from Belgium (parts of other transportation equipment) and China (cellphones).
- As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed from $5.4 billion in December to $5.0 billion in January, the lowest deficit in more than a year.
In January, exports contracted 2.0% to $48.1 billion as export volumes decreased 3.1%, while export prices increased 1.1%.
- Exports of motor vehicles and parts led the decrease in January (-4.1%), the lowest level since May 2018.
- This was primarily due to lower exports of passenger cars and light trucks (-8.2%), reflecting longer temporary shutdown at certain assembly plants, as well as the recent closure of the GM plant in Oshawa.
- Exports of energy products were down 1.7% in January:
- Mainly on decreased exports of natural gas (-26.2%).
- Exports of coal (-23.6%) also fell in January, on lower exports to Japan.
In January, imports edged down 0.5% to $49.6 billion as import prices remained stable and import volumes contracted 0.5%.
- Imports of consumer goods were down in January (-6.3%), mainly on lower imports of pharmaceuticals products (-26.1%).
- Most of the decrease in January was due to lower imports of antiviral and cancer treatment drugs.
- Imports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals increased in January (+41.9%), mainly on higher imports of gold for refining purposes. Higher gold prices played a significant role in the increase.
- Imports of energy products rose 7.6% in January on higher imports of crude oil (+26.4%), which reached the $2.0 billion mark for the first time since 2014.
- Imports of motor vehicles engines and parts fell (-7.1%).
|Industrial Machinery & Equipment||3,313||-6.5%||5,477||-8.1%|
|Electronic./Electric. Machin. & Equip.||2,333||-9.7%||5,688||-6.3%|
|Aircrafts/Other Transportation Equip.||2,277||-3.1%||1,762||-34.1%|
Source: Statistics Canada Table 12-10-0121-01, International merchandise trade data by North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) – seasonally adjusted. Totals don’t add up as “Special transactions trade” and “Other balance of payments adjustments” are not included.
- Date Modified: