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June 2009

  1. Canada’s merchandise exports increased 2.3% to just under $29.3 billion in June, halting three consecutive monthly declines, while imports fell 1.3% to $29.3 billion. As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with the world narrowed to $55 million from $1.1 billion in May.
  2. The increase in exports was attributable to a substantial rise in exports of energy products. If they were excluded, total exports would have declined 0.5%.
  3. Imports, which have been on a downward trend since October 2008, fell for the fourth consecutive month. Declines in three sectors – machinery and equipment, industrial goods and materials, and other consumer goods – offset increases in the remaining sectors: energy products, agricultural and fishing products, automotive products and forestry products.
  4. Export prices were up 2.2%, as the prices rose for energy products and industrial goods and materials. Import prices fell 0.8%, as all import sectors except for energy products posted reductions. Export volumes were up 0.2%, while import volumes declined 0.5%.
  5. Exports to the United States climbed 5.1%, largely the result of higher exports of crude petroleum, while imports fell 1.8%. This widened Canada’s trade surplus with the United States to $3.1 billion from $1.7 billion in May.
  6. The trade deficit with countries other than the United States grew to $3.1 billion from $2.8 billion in May, as exports fell 4.5% and imports edged down 0.3%.

Note to readers

Merchandise trade is one component of Canada's international balance of payments, 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 balance of payments 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. Balance of payments data are derived from customs data by making adjustments for characteristics 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.

Constant dollars referred to in the text are calculated using the Laspeyres volume formula.


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 balance of payments based data. Revisions to customs based data for the previous year are released on a quarterly basis. Revisions to balance of payments based data for the three previous years are released annually in June.

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

Revised data are available in the appropriate CANSIM tables.

Historical updates covering the period of 1988 to 2003 will be released on September 10, 2009 in conjunction with the July 2009 reference month data. These updates are the result of historical inconsistencies relating to the integrity between trade data and the underlying metadata and are minimal in dollar value.

For more information, view the document entitled “CANSIM notes - Historical updates” under the definitions, data source and methods page, survey number 2201.

Chart 2