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Canada July International Merchandise Trade Report (Text)

11 Sep 2012

The following is the text ofCanada’s international merchandise trade report for July from Statistics Canada.

Canada’s merchandise exports fell 3.4% and imports decreased 2.2% in July. As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with the world expanded from $1.9 billion in June to $2.3 billion in July.

Exports fell to $37.7 billion as volumes decreased 2.0%. Energy products were the main contributor to the fall in exports.

Imports decreased to $40.1 billion, mainly as a result of lower imports of energy products as well as machinery and equipment. Both volumes (-1.2%) and prices (-1.0%) declined.

Exports to the United States fell 5.0% to $27.4 billion in July, while imports declined 2.1% to $25.3 billion. Consequently, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States decreased from $3.0 billion in June to $2.1 billion in July, the smallest trade surplus since October 2010.

Imports from countries other than the United States decreased 2.4% to $14.7 billion while exports rose 1.2% to $10.3 billion. As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed from $4.9 billion in June to $4.4 billion in July.

Energy products: The largest contributor to the decrease in exports

Exports of energy products fell 8.5% to $8.2 billion in July on lower volumes and prices. Crude petroleum exports, down 9.6% to $5.1 billion, led the decline. Prices and volumes of crude petroleum have been trending downwards since January 2012. Exports of petroleum and coal product decreased for a third consecutive month, falling 10.7% to $1.8 billion, mainly the result of lower exports of light oils and fuel oils.

Exports of machinery and equipment decreased 5.5% to $6.7 billion, as widespread decreases were recorded within the sector. Exports of aircraft, engines and parts fell 19.6% on lower volumes.

Exports of automotive products decreased 5.3% to $5.9 billion, largely as a result of exports of passenger autos and chassis, which declined 7.5% to $4.0 billion. Overall, volumes fell 4.7% in July.

Two sectors account for the decline in imports

Imports of energy products declined 12.3% to $3.8 billion, as both volumes and prices fell in July. Petroleum and coal products imports, down 33.5%, accounted for the decrease in the sector.

Imports of machinery and equipment decreased 3.7% to $10.8 billion on lower volumes. The decline in the sector was largely attributed to a 4.7% decrease in imports of other equipment and tools, mainly measuring and controlling instruments as well as air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. Imports of other industrial machinery and office machines and equipment also contributed to the decline in the sector.

Note to readers

Merchandise trade is one component of Canada’s international balance of payments (BOP), which also includes trade in services, investment income, current transfers as well as capital and financial flows.

International merchandise trade data by country are available on both a BOP and a customs basis for the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom. Trade data for all other individual countries are available on a customs basis only. BOP data are derived from customs data by making adjustments for factors such as valuation, coverage, timing and residency. These adjustments are made to conform to the concepts and definitions of the Canadian System of National Accounts.

Data in this release are on a BOP basis, seasonally adjusted and in current dollars. Constant dollars are calculated using the Laspeyres volume formula.

For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends (

New aggregation structure

Statistics Canada will introduce the North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) for merchandise import and export statistics. The new structure will replace the classification structures known as the summary import groups (SIG) and the summary export groups (SEG) and the higher level aggregations (major groups, subsectors, sectors and sections) that have been in use for several decades.

Revised data based on NAPCS for the reference period of January 1988 to August 2012 will be disseminated on October 18.

The first regular release of data based on NAPCS will be on November 8 for the September reference month.

Readers interested in this upcoming change can find more detailed information on our web page dedicated to classification ( consultation and notification.


In general, merchandise trade data are revised on an ongoing basis for each month of the current year. Current year revisions are reflected in both the customs and BOP based data.

The previous year’s customs data are revised with the release of the January and February reference months as well as on a quarterly basis. The previous two years of customs based data are revised annually and are released in February with the December reference month.

The previous year’s BOP based data will be revised with the release of the January, February, March and April 2012 reference months.

Factors influencing revisions include late receipt of import and export documentation, incorrect information on customs forms, replacement of estimates produced for the energy sector with actual figures, changes in classification of merchandise based on more current information, and changes to seasonal adjustment factors.