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Widespread increases in exports

Machinery and equipment which grew 8.4% to $8.1 billion was the largest contributor to the increase in exports. The gain was mainly due to volume increases and followed two consecutive monthly declines. The growth in this sector was driven by a 27.3% surge in aircraft and other transportation equipment exports.

After falling to their lowest level in 17 years in January, exports of automotive products rose 19.8% to $3.5 billion as Canadian car and truck production resumed at most plants in February. Exports of trucks jumped 28.2%, more than offsetting the losses sustained over the previous four months. Exports of motor vehicle parts and passenger autos also increased in February by 19.3% and 17.4% respectively. The increase in the automotive sector was largely the result of a volume gain.

Aircraft lead the gain in imports

Machinery and equipment led the growth in imports, rising 3.7% to $10.1 billion. The growth was driven by a 27.9% rise in imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment. Softening the gain were industrial and agricultural machinery which continued declining for the third straight month.

Imports of automotive products were up 3.2% to $4.1 billion as both price and volume increased. The gain was mainly attributable to imports of motor vehicle parts which increased 7.6% in February. This marked the first increase in the automotive sector in five months.

Imports of energy products contracted a further 7.8% to $2.8 billion. This sector has been on a downward trend since July 2008 when the price of a barrel of oil reached nearly $150 USD. The February decline was due to price and volume reductions. Crude petroleum imports, which slid 16.7% to $1.3 billion, led the decrease.