Canada’s March Trade Deficit Grew To $2.28 Billion

Canada reported a trade deficit of $2.28 billion in March, missing by a wide mark economists’ consensus expectation for a $1.21 billion surplus.

In releasing the March data, Statistics Canada revised the previous February trade surplus down to $476 million from $1.39 billion, indicating growing weakness in Canada’s exports.

On a quarterly basis, Canada’s imports rose 0.4% year over year during the first three months of 2024, while exports declined 1.4%.

Overall, trade was a drag on the Canadian economy in Q1 after having been the main driver of economic growth in the final quarter of 2023.

In March, exports from Canada fell 5.3%, with metals, minerals, energy, and motor vehicles driving the decline. Decreases were recorded in nine of 11 export categories.

Gold exports fell 32.5% in March after surging to a record high in February when large quantities were shipped to Europe.

Energy exports decreased 4.9% in March, mainly on lower exports of crude oil and bitumen, the fifth decrease in six months.

On the flipside, imports declined 1.2% in March, dropping in seven of 11 product categories, with electronics, metals, minerals, and aircraft leading the declines.

Canada’s trade surplus with the neighboring U.S. narrowed to $6.48 billion in March from $8.49 billion in February of this year.

The trade deficit with Canada’s second-largest trading partner, China, stood at $3.03 billion in March, worse than the deficit of $2.72 billion recorded in February.

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