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Canada’s merchandise exports rose 3.1% to $34.0 billion in August, following two months of declines. Industrial goods and materials and other consumer goods accounted for over three-quarters of the growth.

Export volumes rose 2.9% and have been on an upward trend since May 2009.

After a gain in July, imports declined 0.5% to $35.3 billion, as prices fell 0.8%. Import volumes, which have been on an upward trend since March 2009, increased 0.3% in August.

The main sectors behind the decline in imports were automotive products, followed by industrial goods and materials. These declines were tempered by increases in imports of other consumer goods and energy products.

Canada’s trade deficit with the world narrowed to $1.3 billion in August from $2.5 billion in July.

Exports to the United States rose by 2.7%, led by higher exports of passenger autos, while imports fell by 3.3%. Consequently, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States increased to $2.9 billion in August from $1.5 billion in July. This was the first increase in Canada’s trade surplus with the United States since December 2009.

Exports to countries other than the United States grew 4.2% while imports rose 4.5%. Both gains were largely the result of increases in trade with the European Union. Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States rose to $4.3 billion in August from $4.1 billion in July.

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.

Data in this release are on a balance of payments basis, seasonally adjusted in current dollars. Constant dollars 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.