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  1. Canada’s merchandise exports rose 3.4% in October led by a strong gain in exports to the United States which accounted for three-quarters of the increase. Canada posted a trade surplus with the world of $428 million, as imports decreased 0.8% in October, compared to a deficit of $850 million in September.
  2. Exports increased by $1.0 billion to $31.1 billion as a result of a 2.6% rise in volumes and a 0.8% increase in prices. This was the second consecutive monthly increase in the value of exports and the fourth rise during the last five months.
  3. Industrial goods and materials led the growth, representing more than half of the increase in exports. Energy products, agricultural and fishing products, as well as automotive products also contributed to the gain. Lower exports of machinery and equipment slowed the increase.
  4. Imports declined to $30.7 billion, as prices decreased 1.2% while volumes inched up 0.3%. This third consecutive monthly decrease in the value of imports was mostly due to machinery and equipment followed by industrial goods and materials. Higher imports of energy products moderated the decrease.
  5. Exports to the United States grew 3.6% while imports fell 3.1%. As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States expanded to $3.4 billion in October from $2.0 billion in September. The October increase in exports to the United States was the third in the last five months.
  6. Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States was $3.0 billion in October compared to $2.9 billion in September as exports grew 2.9% and imports rose 3.2%.

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.

As of December 21, 2009, a new version of the Canadian International Merchandise Trade database will offer Harmonized System import and export data at the 6 digit level (HS6), at no cost. The data on the new version will be the same as released today. More refined data for imports at the HS10 level and for exports at the HS8 level will be available as custom tabulations exclusively from International Trade Division.


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.