Analysis

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Increased exports in all sectors

Exports of machinery and equipment grew 9.2% to $7.5 billion in December, as volumes rose 9.8%. This was the highest level of exports since March 2009. Exports of aircraft, engines and parts, up 25.5% to $1.3 billion, led the gain. Also contributing to the sector's increase were higher exports of other end products, mainly gold coins.

Exports of industrial goods and materials increased 3.8% to $10.5 billion in December. The gain was a result of higher volumes. Precious metals and alloys, other fabricated materials, as well as iron ores, concentrates and scrap led the gain in export values.

Exports of automotive products rose 6.7% to $5.8 billion in December, the highest level since November 2007. Passenger autos and chassis led the overall increase, posting a fourth consecutive monthly gain due to higher volumes.

Exports of energy products increased 1.7% to $10.3 billion, as prices rose while volumes fell. Crude petroleum reached a record high of $6.9 billion. A decline in exports of natural gas partially offset the overall gains in energy products.

Agricultural and fishing products grew 3.8% to a record high of $3.8 billion in December. Exports of canola led the increase.

Widespread gains in imports

Imports of industrial goods and materials grew 2.6% to $8.6 billion in December, as prices increased. Metals and metal ores were the main contributor to the gain, rising 4.0% on higher imports of precious metals and alloys, primarily gold. Chemicals and plastics increased 3.1% due to higher volumes.

Imports of automotive products rose 3.6% to $6.0 billion, due to higher volumes. Motor vehicle parts, up 5.8%, led the increase. Imports of trucks and other motor vehicles grew 10.3% mostly due to higher imports of trucks and off-highway dump trucks.

Imports of machinery and equipment increased 1.3% to $10.9 billion in December. Industrial and agricultural machinery, up 4.5%, was the main contributor to the sector's gain. Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment were down 8.3%.

Energy products fell 7.5% to $4.3 billion, the only sector to decrease in December. Volumes declined 8.1%, a second consecutive monthly decrease. Lower imports of crude petroleum led the decline, followed by petroleum and coal products.

Note: 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 (BOP) based data. The previous year's customs data are revised with the release of the January and February reference months as well as on a quarterly basis. The previous two years of customs based data are revised annually and are released in February with the December reference month. The previous year's BOP based data are revised with the release of the January, February and March reference months. Revisions to BOP based data for the previous three years are released annually in June with the April reference month.

Factors influencing revisions include late receipt of import and export documentation, incorrect information on customs forms, replacement of estimates produced for the energy sector 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.