Statistics Canada reports $3B merchandise trade surplus for October

By The Canadian Press | December 6, 2023 | Last updated on December 6, 2023
2 min read
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Canada’s merchandise trade surplus grew to $3 billion in October as imports fell and exports edged higher, Statistics Canada said Wednesday.

The result compared with a revised surplus of $1.1 billion in September.

BMO economist Shelly Kaushik said the trade surplus improved in October, but that beyond the headlines, the details were soft.

“For now, it looks like trade could add to growth in the fourth quarter, though we believe that the broader economy is poised to continue struggling through year end,” she wrote in a report.

The October trade figures showed imports fell 2.8% for the month to $63 billion as imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products dropped 14.7% and motor vehicles and parts moved down 5.8%.

On the flip side, exports of goods rose 0.1% in October to $66 billion.

The move came as exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts gained 15%, offset by a 1.2% drop in exports of energy produces and a 3.5% decline in basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products.

In volume terms, imports in October fell 3.2%, while export volumes edged down 0.1%.

Regionally, Statistics Canada said exports to countries other than the United States rose 3.9%, while imports fell 0.9%, to result in a trade deficit with countries other than the United States of $9.1 billion in October compared with a deficit of $9.9 billion in September.

Canadian exports to the United States fell 1.0% in October, while imports dropped 3.9%, to result in a trade surplus with the United States of $12.1 billion in October compared with $11.0 billion in September.

In a separate release, Statistics Canada said the country’s monthly international trade in services deficit was $1.3 billion in October compared with a deficit of $1.4 billion in September, as imports of services fell 0.5% to $17.7 billion and exports of services rose 0.3% to $16.4 billion.

When international trade in goods and services are combined, Canada’s trade balance with the world was a surplus of $1.7 billion in October compared with a deficit of $288 million in September.

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