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Canada's merchandise exports declined 1.7% to $33.1 billion in September, as export volumes fell 2.2% while prices increased 0.5%. The level of exports has remained relatively unchanged since the beginning of 2010.

Automotive products, other consumer goods as well as industrial goods and materials were the main factors behind the decline. Conversely, exports of machinery and equipment increased during the month.

Imports increased 1.2% to $35.6 billion, the highest level since November 2008, as import prices rose 1.1%.

Industrial goods and materials and machinery and equipment, the two largest import sectors, recorded a gain in September.

Consequently, Canada's trade deficit with the world rose from $1.5 billion in August to $2.5 billion in September, approaching the record deficit registered in July.

Exports to the United States fell 3.6% to $23.9 billion, their lowest level since November 2009. The decrease largely reflected lower exports of passenger autos. In contrast, imports increased 1.6%. As a result, Canada's trade surplus with the United States narrowed to $1.6 billion in September from $2.9 billion in August.

Exports to countries other than the United States increased 3.6%, the third consecutive monthly gain, while imports rose 0.5%. Consequently, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States declined to $4.1 billion in September from $4.3 billion in August.

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.