Canada March international merchandise trade balance -$1.14B vs +$0.55B expected

Canadian trade balance data for March 2021:

Canada trade balance
  • Prior was +$1.04B
  • Imports +5.5% to highest since May 2019
  • Exports +0.3%
  • Trade surplus with US $4.3B vs $7.3B prior
  • Trade deficit with other countries $5.4B vs $5.9B prior
  • Q1 trade surplus of $1.5B — first surplus since 2016
  • Full report

The jump in imports is a surprise and it was widespread with all 11 sectors higher. The largest subset was energy, particularly refined petroleum products.

Following anĀ 11.5% decline in February, exports to countries other than
the United States roseĀ 12.6% in March, the largest percentage increase
in four years. Exports to Hong Kong (refined gold), the Netherlands
(crude oil) and South Korea (metal ores and refined gold) contributed
the most to the increase

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