Statistics Canada announced that, following two months of strong increases, growth in Canadian merchandise imports and exports slowed in April, with imports rising 1.9% and exports increasing 0.6%.

As a result, Canada’s merchandise trade surplus with the world narrowed from $2.3 billion in March to $1.5 billion in April.

The Federal Agency said total imports reached $62.8 billion. Imports of consumer goods (+5.5%) contributed the most to the increase. Imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products rose 10.5%.

Total exports reached $64.3 billion in April,. Exports of consumer goods (+5.0%) rose the most. Exports of motor vehicles and parts rose 3.9%.

On a per country basis, imports from countries other than the United States decreased 1.9% in April, due to a sharp drop in imports from China (-15.3%). The drop in April coincided with the lockdown of Shanghai due to recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in that part of the country. Exports to countries other than the United States fell 4.7% in April. Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened slightly in April to $10.1 billion from $9.9 billion in March.

Imports from the United States rose 4.4% in April, partly on higher imports of refined petroleum products. Exports to the United States were up 2.1%, a fourth consecutive monthly increase. As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed from a record high of $12.2 billion in March to $11.6 billion in April.