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Canadian exports rebound

Published by Steve Coleman on February 10, 2012

Total export volumes for 2011 ended the year almost as high as they were in 2008.

By price and weight, Canadian exports were more than one-quarter higher than total imports for the year. Shipments to other countries hit a low point in February at $35 billion and ended the year at $42 billion, despite three minor setbacks along the way.

As for December, Statistics Canada says merchandise exports increased 4.5 per cent for the month, while imports edged up 0.8 per cent. As a result, Canada's trade surplus rose from $1.2 billion in November to $2.7 billion in December.

Exports of Canadian made goods and machinery grew to $42 billion in December on a 4.9 per cent increase in volumes. The value of exports increased in all sectors, led by machinery and equipment.

Imports for December increased to $39.3 billion as volumes rose 1.2 per cent. Automotive products and industrial goods and materials were responsible for most of the increased value of December's imports.

Higher demand from the US turned out to be better news than usual for Canadian exporters during the month. More frequent shipments of crude oil, aircraft and precious metals boosted exports 5.3 per cent for the month.

On the other side of the coin, Canadian imports from the United States increased 2.8 per cent to $24.7 billion.

Both imports and exports deals with the US were at their highest levels since October 2008. Canada's trade surplus with the US rose to $5.5 billion in December from the $4.7 billion surplus recorded for November.

Business deals with the rest of the world hit a new high-water mark in December, as well. Statistics Canada says exports to countries besides the US increased 2.5 per cent to a record high of $11.8 billion. Import deals with the rest of the world fell 2.6 per cent to $14.7 billion because of fewer dealings with the European Union.

It helped drop Canada's trade deficit with countries outside of the US from $3.5 billion in November to $2.9 billion in December. It was the smallest deficit since December 2012.

For the complete breakdown by sector, visit Statistics Canada for more information.

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