Statistics Canada announced that the country’s September merchandise exports rose 1.5%, led by higher exports of lumber and aircraft, while imports were also up 1.5%, mainly on higher crude oil imports.

As a result, Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with the world widened slightly from $3.2 billion in August to $3.3 billion in September.

September exports, at $45.5 billion, were still $2.8 billion short of the levels posted in February, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Exports of forestry products and building and packaging materials rose 10.4% to $3.9 billion. Exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts rose 13.4%. Exports of motor vehicles and parts (+2.7%) also increased in September These increases were attenuated by a significant drop in exports of consumer goods (-8.0%).

Total imports reached $48.8 billion, $1.2 billion lower than the pre-pandemic level in February. Imports of energy products rose 28.8%. Imports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts rose 6.7% and imports of basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products were up 7.6%. These increases were partially offset by lower imports of electronic and electrical equipment and parts (-8.7%).

On a global perspective, Canada’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States narrowed from $6.1 billion in August to $5.3 billion in September. Exports to those countries rose 10.9% to $12.3 billion, the strongest increase since June 2018. With the September increase, exports to countries other than the United States surpassed February levels. Imports from countries other than the United States rose 2.1% to $17.6 billion. Imports from countries other than the United States also surpassed February levels in September.

Exports to the United States decreased 1.6% to $33.2 billion in September, while imports were up 1.2% to $31.2 billion. As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed from $2.9 billion in August to $2.0 billion in September. Compared with February, both exports (-8.0%) and imports (-4.3%) with the United States declined.