OTTAWA: Industrial goods and materials spurred Canada’s exports growth by 2.8 per cent in February, widening our trade surplus with the world widened to $1.4 billion in February from $754 million in January, according to the latest trade data from Statistics Canada.
Indeed, industrial goods and materials accounted for more than half the growth in exports, which increased to $34 billion in February from $33.1 billion in January—the fifth increase in export volumes and prices in six months.
On the strength of automotive products, exports to the US increased two per cent and imports grew 1.2 per cent. As a result, Canada’s trade surplus with the US widened to $4.4 billion in February from $4.2 billion in January.
Exports to countries other than the US rose 5.2 per cent, as exports to all principal trading areas except Japan increased in February. Imports from countries other than the US grew 0.2 per cent as a result of higher imports from Japan. Consequently, Canada’s trade deficit with these countries narrowed to $3.0 billion in February from $3.4 billion in January.
Six export sectors post gains
Following a 6.2 per cent gain in January, exports of industrial goods and materials grew 7.2 per cent to $7.9 billion in February. Although the gains were broad-based, increased volumes of metals ores and higher prices of chemical, plastics and fertilizers accounted for almost three-quarters of the growth.
Metals ores exports increased 36.5 per cent, on the strength of nickel ores and copper ores, while fertilizers and fertilizer materials, such as potash, led the 4.5 per cent gain in exports of chemicals, plastics and fertilizers.
Exports of automotive products rose 5.0 per cent to $4.5 billion, largely due to a 4.6 per cent volume increase. Exports of passenger autos grew 9.4 per cent, as some manufacturers resumed production after extended plant shutdowns in January. In contrast, exports of motor vehicle parts declined 2.9 per cent, after three consecutive months of increases.