OTTAWA, Ont. — Trade with Canada’s largest trading partner, as a percentage of overall trade, was down 1.5% in 2008.
The US accounted for 67.5% of Canada’s total merchandise trade in 2008, down from 67.2% the previous year and 74% in 2003.
That’s been offset somewhat by higher trade volumes with other countries. In 2008, Canadian exports to countries other than the US accounted for 22.3% of total exports, up from 14.3% in 2003. Asia-Pacific countries, mostly Japan, led the way with Brazil also playing a significant role.
Canadian exports to Japan were up 20.2% from 2007, mainly comprised of coal, canola and wheat. Exports to China were up 9.1% over 2007, but China was replaced by Japan as Canada’s second largest export destination, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.
Canadian exports to Brazil were up 70.7% from 2007, led by potash and coal.
Canada has also increased its imports from countries other than the US, a trend that’s continued for seven years now. In 2008, 47.6% of Canadian imports were from countries other than the US, up from just 39.4% in 2003. Imports from other countries rose 10.7% in 2008 over the previous year.
China remains Canada’s second most important trading partner for imports, behind the US.
In 2008, Canada posted a trade surplus of $46.7 billion – down from $48 billion in 2007 and continuing a downward trend that began in 2005.
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