Thursday, March 11, 2010

Commodities Boost Canada’s Trade Surplus in January


Canada’s trade surplus grew more than expected in January to C$799 million ($776 million) as higher prices for commodities such as gold boosted exports, while imports fell, Statistics Canada said on Thursday. January’s surplus was the largest since March 2009, according to Statscan’s revised data which showed a C$75 million surplus in December instead of a C$246 million deficit. Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast, on average, a surplus of C$100 million.

Exports climbed 0.5% in January to C$33.02 billion while imports fell 1.7% to C$32.22 billion.

The pace of growth in exports slowed, however. Export volumes fell 0.3% on slower sales of autos as well as machinery and equipment. But that was offset by a 0.8% jump in prices, led by industrial goods and materials which includes precious metals, aluminum and alloys.

Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed slightly to C$4.1 billion from C$4.2 billion in December due to lower auto sales.

Summary statistics and links to the data files are on the Statistics Canada website. Export and import price indexes are here.