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Canadian international trade in services, April 2021

Released: 2021-06-08

Canada's monthly international trade in services balance went from a surplus of $188 million in March to a deficit of $226 million in April. Overall, exports of services declined 2.2% to $9.3 billion, while imports were up 2.2% to $9.5 billion.

To explore the most recent results of Canada's international trade in services in an interactive format, see the "International merchandise trade monthly interactive dashboard."

Chart 1  Chart 1: International trade in services
International trade in services

Exports of commercial services decreased 2.6% to $7.1 billion in April, mainly on lower exports of financial services. Imports of commercial services were up 2.8% to $7.2 billion in April. As with exports, the month-over-month movement in imports was also mainly attributable to financial services.

Exports of travel services declined 4.0% to $889 million. Imports of travel services were down 2.4% to $362 million, a third consecutive monthly decrease. More stringent COVID-19 testing and quarantine regulations for travellers entering Canada have been in effect since February 2021.

Exports of transportation services increased 1.5% to $1.2 billion in April, and imports were up 0.6% to $1.8 billion. Despite these increases, both exports (-14.9%) and imports (-31.2%) of transportation services remained below their February 2020 levels. This was entirely attributable to lower exports (-89.8%) and imports (-95.8%) of passenger fares, as the non-passenger fare components were slightly higher than their February 2020 levels for exports (+2.4%) and imports (+0.3%).

Chart 2  Chart 2: International trade in services, exports
International trade in services, exports

Chart 3  Chart 3: International trade in services, imports
International trade in services, imports

Chart 4  Chart 4: International trade in services, balances
International trade in services, balances

By comparison, total imports of goods decreased 4.7% to $49.6 billion in April, and total exports of goods were down 1.0% to $50.2 billion, resulting in a goods surplus of $594 million. Combined, the trade balance for goods and services amounted to a $368 million surplus in April—a $1.5 billion change from a deficit of $1.2 billion in March.

Chart 5  Chart 5: International trade in goods and services, April 2021
International trade in goods and services, April 2021

The services trade surplus for March, first reported at $143 million, was revised up to $188 million with this month's release. Exports of services for March were revised up by $176 million, on upward revisions to commercial services and travel services. Imports of services were revised up by $131 million, on upward revisions to transportation services, travel services and commercial services. This month's release reflects the integration of quarterly benchmark data from the balance of payments for the first quarter of 2021, as well as revisions to all quarters of 2020.

  Note to readers

COVID-19 and additional data sources

Circumstances surrounding COVID-19 pose issues for the production of monthly international trade-in-services statistics, particularly for travel and transportation services.

To better capture the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada is incorporating data from the Canada Border Services Agency's primary inspection kiosks into its monthly international trade-in-services program. These are electronic customs declaration kiosks that have been installed in most major Canadian airports. While these data represent only a subset of total travellers, they provide relevant and timely insights.

Further information on the estimation methodology is available upon request.


The updated Canada and the World Statistics Hub (Catalogue number13-609-X) is available online. It illustrates the nature and extent of Canada's economic and financial relationship with the world using interactive charts and tables. This product provides easy access to information on trade, investment, employment and travel between Canada and a number of countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, China, Japan, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is available.

The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-606-G) is also available. This publication will be updated to maintain its relevance.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Alec Forbes (613-668-6454;, International Accounts and Trade Division.

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