| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

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Statistics Canada reported on Wednesday that Canada’s trade surplus with the rest of the world decreased to C$2.49 billion in March, missing analyst estimates, as both imports and exports hit new highs.

Exports increased by 6.3 percent to C$63.63 billion, owing to higher energy costs. Imports increased 7.7% to C$61.14 billion, with gains in nine of the eleven product groups. Imports and exports both exceeded analysts’ expectations.

Energy products accounted for 28.2% of total exports, with crude oil exports up 14.8%, entirely due to higher prices, Statscan said. Excluding energy products, exports were up 4.0%.

“Market prices for crude oil … were up substantially on average in March, as the conflict in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia raised the level of uncertainty surrounding global supply,” Statscan said.

Exports of motor vehicles and parts also climbed, as supply chain bottlenecks that have weighed on vehicle manufacturing eased. Imports of motor vehicles and parts also rose, with two-way auto sector trade at its highest level since August 2019 on a not seasonally adjusted basis.

Canada’s trade surplus with the United States hit an all-time high of C$12.6 billion, while its trade deficit with the rest of the world hit a record C$10.1 billion.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.2% higher at 1.2811 to the greenback, or 78.06 U.S. cents.

  • Reuters