Canada September International Merchandise Trade Report (Text)

The following is the text of Canada’s international merchandise trade report for September from Statistics Canada.

Canada’s merchandise exports rose 1.9% and imports were unchanged in September. As a result, Canada’s trade deficit with the world narrowed from $1.5 billion in August to $826 million in September.

Exports rose to $38.0 billion, as prices increased 1.9%. Exports of energy products led the overall gain.

Imports remained at $38.8 billion in September. Overall, the increase in volumes offset the decrease in prices. Metal and non-metallic mineral products registered the largest increase in total value of imports, while consumer goods posted the largest decline.

Exports to the United States grew 1.3% to $27.8 billion, on higher exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts. Imports from the United States edged up 0.5% to $24.3 billion. As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States rose from $3.2 billion in August to $3.5 billion in September.

Exports to countries other than the United States increased 3.6% to $10.2 billion, while imports were down 0.8% to $14.5 billion. Consequently, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed from $4.8 billion in August to $4.3 billion in September.

Energy products section leads the increase in exports

Exports of energy products rose 4.2% to $8.4 billion in September, as prices increased 4.2%. Leading the gain were exports of crude oil and crude bitumen, up 9.5%. Other energy products, mainly coal, also contributed to the increase. Refined petroleum energy products partially offset the overall increase with lower exports of diesel fuel and motor gasoline.

Exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products grew 14.4% to a record high of $2.3 billion in September, as volumes increased. Following three consecutive monthly declines, exports of canola were up 81.9% to $457 million, contributing the most to the increase.

Exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts rose 17.9% to $1.7 billion, on higher exports of aircraft (+37.7%), mainly to the United States. Overall volumes increased 18.4%.

Exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals posted a 17.4% increase to $1.6 billion in September. A 46.4% increase in metal ores and concentrates contributed the most to the gain in the section, mainly on exports of copper ores and concentrates.

Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products fell 4.1% to $4.3 billion, as a result of lower volumes outpacing higher prices. Widespread decreases in exports were recorded in September, with unwrought nickel and nickel alloys posting the largest decline. Exports of unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys partially offset the overall decrease as both prices and volumes rose.

Imports are unchanged

Imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products rose 8.4% to $3.7 billion in September. Imports of unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys led the gain, as volumes increased (+42.4%).

Imports of basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products increased 6.5% to $3.2 billion, on higher volumes (+11.7%). Imports of lubricants and other petroleum refinery products contributed the most to the gain, partially offset by lower imports of basic chemicals, primarily pharmaceutical chemicals.

Imports of consumer goods fell 3.0% to $7.5 billion, as a result of widespread decreases in volumes. The section recorded its third consecutive monthly decline in imports. A 10.1% decline in imports of pharmaceutical and medicinal products contributed the most to the overall decrease.

Imports of motor vehicles and parts, down for a third month in a row, declined 2.5% to $6.7 billion in September, as volumes and prices declined. The principal contributor behind the overall decrease was imports of passenger cars and light trucks, falling 6.6% to $2.6 billion.

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 and in current dollars. Constant dollars are calculated using the Laspeyres volume formula.

For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends ( .

New aggregation structure and other updates

Changes were applied to the international merchandise trade data series. The published data are now based on the North American Product Classification System ( (NAPCS) 2007. The price indexes are now based on 2007 as the base year and the weighting methods for price measures have been revised. In addition, a new version of the software, X-12-ARIMA, is being used for seasonal adjustment.

The old CANSIM tables 228-0001 to 228-0003, 228-0033, 228-0034, 228-0041 to 228-0043 and 228-0047 to 228-0057 were replaced by tables 228-0058 to 228-0068.


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 BOP based data. Revised data based on NAPCS for the reference period from January 1988 to August 2012 were disseminated on October 18.

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.

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, free of charge.

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