Monthly Merchandise Trade Report

Monthly Report on Canada's International Merchandise Trade Performance, November 2019

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Canada’s merchandise exports and imports both declined in November, coinciding with rail and pipeline disruptions.

Trade Balance

  • Canada’s trade deficit with the world narrowed from $1.6 billion in October to $1.1 billion in November.


  • Exports contracted 1.4% in November to reach $48.7 billion.
    • Export decreases were observed in 7 of 11 sectors.
    • Energy products drove the overall export decrease.


  • Imports were down 2.4% to $49.8 billion in November.
    • Import decreases were widespread, occurring in 10 of 11 sectors.
    • Aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts led the nominal decreases. 

Chart 1: Value of Canada's trade in goods, November 2014 to November 2019

Canada-U.S. Trade in Billions of Dollars

Source: Statistics Canada Table 12-10-0011-01, Merchandise imports and exports, Balance of payments basis, seasonally adjusted.

Text Version
Merchandise exports and imports, billions of dollars
February 201443.242.6
March 201444.442.9
April 201443.743.4
May 201445.244.7
June 201445.143.5
July 201445.343.6
August 201444.843.8
September 201445.044.4
October 201445.045.2
November 201443.644.4
December 201443.544.8
January 201542.344.7
February 201542.844.6
March 201543.146.6
April 201542.945.3
May 201542.545.1
June 201544.845.3
July 201545.646.0
August 201544.846.4
September 201544.346.4
October 201543.345.8
November 201543.146.2
December 201544.546.5
January 201645.546.8
February 201643.346.5
March 201641.544.7
April 201641.544.6
May 201640.944.5
June 201641.044.9
July 201643.144.6
August 201644.245.7
September 201644.048.0
October 201644.445.7
November 201646.245.2
December 201645.945.7
January 201746.646.8
February 201745.647.0
March 201746.747.8
April 201747.248.1
May 201748.549.9
June 201745.849.3
July 201743.746.5
August 201743.946.8
September 201743.646.9
October 201744.746.1
November 201746.349.2
December 201746.749.8
January 201845.947.7
February 201846.548.8
March 201848.251.9
April 201849.050.6
May 201848.951.8
June 201850.851.6
July 201851.351.3
August 201850.751.1
September 201850.150.8
October 201850.050.6
November 201847.950.1
December 201846.251.0
January 201948.651.7
February 201948.050.9


Canadian Merchandise Exports

Canadian merchandise exports: decreased 1.4% in November, to $48.7 billion. Decreases were observed in 7 of 11 sectors.

Year-to-date, exports were up 1.5% compared to the same period in 2018.

Canadian Merchandise Imports

Canadian merchandise imports: declined 2.4% to $49.8 billion in November with widespread decreases observed in 10 of 11 sectors.

Year-to-date, imports were up 1.4% compared to the same period in 2018.

United States:

  • Exports to the United States decreased 3.3% to $36.1 billion in November.
  • Imports from the United States dropped 1.1% to $31.9 billion.
  • As a result, Canada’s merchandise trade surplus with the United States narrowed from $5.1 billion in October to $4.2 billion in November.
Table 1: Changes in Canadian Trade: monthly, year-to-date and by principal trading partners
($ millions)
% change
previous year 
($ millions)
% change
previous year 
Source: Statistics Canada Table 12-10-0011-01, Merchandise imports and exports, Balance of payments basis, seasonally adjusted, current dollars.
All Countries48,695-7031.5%49,783-1,2211.4%
% Changen.a.-1.4%n.a.n.a.-2.4%n.a.
Volume changen.a.-2.7%n.a.n.a.-1.3%n.a.
Price changen.a.1.4%n.a.n.a.-1.1%n.a.
United States36,101-1,2172.2 31,924-3410.4
Mexico65737-12.2 1,623-160-2.0
  United Kingdom2,29939421.1760280.8
South Korea380-110-4.4652-795.7

Countries other than United States:

  • Exports to non-U.S. countries climbed 4.3% in November.
    • There were record exports to the UK (gold and crude oil), as well as increased exports to France (canola and soybeans) and Hong Kong (gold).
  • Imports from countries other than the United States declined 4.7% in November.
    • There were lower imports from China (various products) and Mexico (autos).
  • As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States decreased from $6.7 billion in October to $5.3 billion in November. 


In November, exports contracted 1.4% to $48.7 billion as export volumes decreased 2.7%, while export prices increased 1.4%.

Export highlights:

  • Exports of energy products led the decrease in November (-7.4%), mainly on lower exports of crude oil.
    • Partially offsetting this decrease were higher exports of natural gas (+30.7%).
  • Partially offsetting the overall decrease:
  • Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products reached a record in November (+7.3%). 
    • Exports of unfinished precious metal products rose sharply for a second consecutive month (+29.5%) on higher exports of gold bars to the UK and Hong Kong.
    • Lower exports of aluminum and iron and steel products moderated the increase of this sector. These products were particularly affected by the rail transportation disruptions in November.
  • Moreover, exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products increased in November (+9.6%).
    • Following significant declines in October, both canola and other crop products (mainly soybeans) rebounded in November, primarily on higher exports to European destinations.

In November, imports fell 2.4% to $49.8 billion as import prices decreased 1.1%, and import volumes contracted 1.3%.

Import highlights:

  • Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts decreased in November (-13.8%), mainly on lower imports of airliners from overseas and lower imports of aircraft engines and parts from the U.S.  
  • Imports of energy products declined in November (-7.5%) to $3.2 billion.
    • Mainly due to lower import volumes of natural gas and lower imports of crude oil.
Table 2: Exports and Imports by commodities – November 2019 and % change November 2018 to November 2019
November 2019
($ millions)
% change
previous year
($ millions)
% change
previous year
Resource Products25,5112.3%      15,2162.2%
  Energy8,8339.1%      3,18221.4%
Non-resource Products21,8542.3%      32,755-1.7%
  Industrial Machinery & Equipment3,290-3.4%        5,623-3.9%
Electronic./Electric. Machin. & Equip.2,443-1.9%        6,050-0.7%
  Motor Vehicles7,515-0.3%        9,2552.4%
  Aircrafts/Other Transportation Equip.2,69428.5%        1,696-23.8%
  Consumer Goods5,9131.4%      10,1300.2%
All commodities48,6951.9%      49,783 -0.3%

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.