OTTAWA, Ont. — Canadian merchandise exports increased in November for only the third time in 2007, halting a three-month decline, Statistics Canada reports.
At the same time, imports increased but at a slower pace. As a result, the nation’s trade surplus with the world expanded for the second month in a row.
Canadian companies exported $37.9 billion worth of merchandise, a 3.1% increase, while imports rose 1.7% to $34.2 billion. The gain in imports partially reversed a decline in October.
Canada’s trade surplus with the world expanded to $3.7 billion, up from a revised $3.1 billion in October. While exports have grown since early 2006, the share of Canada’s exports to the United States has fallen. In November, exports to the United States accounted for 75% of the total compared with 82% in January 2006.
On a year-to-date basis, both exports and imports stood at higher levels in the first 11 months of the year compared with the same period in 2006.
Volume dominated November’s increase in trade. In constant dollar terms, a method used to isolate the change in volume, both exports and imports rose again in November. While both prices increased by 0.6%, volumes for exports and imports were up 2.5% and 1.0% respectively. In November, the Canadian dollar hit its highest level against its American counterpart. During the first 11 months of 2007, the loonie appreciated 22% against the greenback. However, the net impact of this appreciation on individual traders is unclear since nearly two-thirds of exporters were also importers.
Furthermore, almost half of these traders imported more than they exported.
The trade surplus with the United States widened for the first time since last August to $6.4 billion. Exports to the United States grew almost twice as fast as imports, increasing for the first time since July. Overall, for the first 11 months of 2007, exports were 0.7% below levels reached in the same period in 2006, while imports were up 2.5%.
The trade deficit with countries other than the United States shrank to $2.7 billion, the second contraction in a row. So far in 2007, both exports to and imports from those countries as a group have surpassed the 2006 levels. However, the increase in imports has not kept pace with the gain in exports; exports surged 18.3% while imports increased 4.1%.
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