Canada’s merchandise trade surplus was $1.5 billion in August, the smallest monthly surplus for the year so far.
Statistics Canada said Wednesday August’s result compared with a revised surplus of $2.4 billion for July, down from an initial reading for the month that showed a surplus of $4.1 billion.
Statistics Canada said total exports fell 2.9% to $65.4 billion in August as they moved lower for a second consecutive month.
Exports of energy products fell 6% to $18.4 billion as exports of crude oil fell 5.7%, largely due to lower prices.
Meanwhile, total imports dropped 1.7% to $63.9 billion, also a second consecutive monthly decline.
Imports of motor vehicles and parts were down 7.1% in August as imports of passenger cars and light trucks fell 9.5% and imports of engines and parts moved down 7.4%.
In volume terms, exports fell 1.3% in August, while imports dropped 0.7%.
“With two months in hand, it still looks like trade will add to third quarter growth; however, the monthly data is subject to significant revisions that could change the magnitude of the support,” BMO economist Shelly Kaushik wrote in a report.
Regionally, Statistics Canada said the trade surplus with the United States was essentially unchanged at $10.7 billion in August as exports to the U.S. fell 2.5% and imports from Canada’s largest partner dropped 3.3%.
Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States was $9.2 billion in August compared with a deficit of $8.3 billion in July, the first increase in four months.
Exports to countries other than the United States fell 4.3% for the month, while imports from countries other than the United States rose 1.1% in August.
In a separate report, Statistics Canada said Canada’s international trade in services deficit for August increased to $1.9 billion compared with a deficit of $1.6 billion in July as imports of services rose 2.1% to $14.5 billion and exports gained 0.3% at $12.6 billion.
Combined, Canada’s trade balance with the world including goods and services fell to a deficit of $369 million in August, the first deficit for the year, compared with a surplus of $740 million in July.