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Canada’s trade surplus with the world expanded to $5.5 billion in May, from $4.8 billion in April, as exports to countries other than the United States reached their highest level ever and exports to the United States remained strong.

Canadian exports rose for the fifth consecutive month, increasing 5.4% to $42.1 billion, as both volumes and prices increased.  However since November 2007, export prices have been on the rise, while volumes have been on a downward trend.

Imports increased 3.9% to $36.6 billion, their largest increase since July 2007.  Volumes were up, while prices declined.  Nevertheless, import prices have been on an upward trend for past seven months, while movements in volume have been more volatile.
Exports to the United States increased for the fifth month in a row, reaching $31.3 billion, their highest level since December 2006.  Imports grew by almost the same dollar value as exports, leaving the trade surplus with Canada’s largest trading partner virtually unchanged at $8.1 billion.

Exports to countries other than the United States surpassed the $10-billion mark.  Since the growth in exports was twice as large as the rise in imports, the trade deficit narrowed to $2.5 billion from $3.3 billion. This growth was partially attributed to increased coal exports to Japan and South Korea where it is used to produce steel.