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Canada's merchandise exports increased 3.2%, while imports declined 0.8%. As a result, Canada's trade balance with the world went from a deficit of $487 million in October to a surplus of $1.1 billion in November.

Exports rose to $40.1 billion, as most sectors posted gains. Prices increased 1.7%, led by energy products, while volumes rose 1.6%, largely the result of automotive products.

Imports declined to $39.0 billion, as both volumes and prices fell. The overall decline in imports was attributable to lower imports of automotive products, as well as industrial goods and materials. The decline was partially offset by an increase in energy products.

Canada's trade surplus with the United States increased from $3.5 billion in October to $4.6 billion in November. Exports to the United States rose 1.9% to $28.6 billion, on the strength of energy products. Imports from the United States declined 2.0% to $24.0 billion, largely the result of lower imports of automotive products.

Exports to countries other than the United States rose 6.7% to $11.5 billion, mainly the result of higher exports to the European Union. Imports from countries other than the United States increased 1.3% to $15.0 billion, the fourth consecutive monthly gain. Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed from $4.0 billion in October to $3.5 billion in November.

Note to readers

Merchandise trade is one component of Canada's international balance of payments (BOP), 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 BOP 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. BOP data are derived from customs data by making adjustments for factors 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 BOP basis, seasonally adjusted in current dollars. Constant dollars are calculated using the Laspeyres volume formula.

Changes to the classification

Statistics Canada has reduced the number of 10-digit Harmonized Commodity Coding and Description System (HS) classification codes that are used to report the commodity detail in Canada's merchandise import trade data. This will improve efficiency, maintain data quality and reduce response burden.

These changes take effect in January 2012 to coincide with the World Customs Organization 2012 amendments to the 6-digit HS classification codes as well as with Finance Canada's changes to the 2012 Customs Tariff at the 8-digit HS codes. To obtain an HS 2012 Concordance Table, contact the International Trade Division's Marketing and Client Services Section (trade@statcan.gc.ca).