OTTAWA—Statistics Canada says the country posted its second consecutive monthly trade surplus in December.
The agency says Canada’s merchandise trade balance with the world posted a surplus of $923 million for the final month of 2016.
Economists on average had expected a surplus of $350 million for December, according to Reuters.
Exports in December gained 0.8 per cent to a record $46.4 billion, due to higher energy product prices.
Meanwhile, imports increased 1.0 per cent to $45.5 billion in December, due in large part to imports of aircrafts and industrial machinery.
In volume terms, exports fell 1.4 per cent due to declines in metal ores and non-metallic minerals, while import volumes gained 0.4 per cent, led by industrial machinery, equipment and parts.
Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts increased 21.8 per cent to $1.5 billion in December. After settling at a $6 million low in November, imports of aircrafts rebounded to $200 million in December. Aircraft engines and aircraft parts were also up 13.6 per cent to $917 million.
Industrial machinery, equipment and parts rose 6.4 per cent to $4.3 billion in December, with all commodity groupings recording gains.
Imports of metal and non-metallic mineral products were up 6.3 per cent to $3.9 billion in December. Unwrought precious metals and precious metal alloys rose 28.0 per cent to $941 million.
Imports of energy products fell, down 11.9 per cent to $2.2 billion. Crude oil was mainly responsible for the decline, falling 18.0 per cent to $1.1 billion, the lowest level since February 2016. For the section as a whole, volumes were down 14.8 per cent and prices were up 3.4 per cent.
December saw the third consecutive monthly gain in exports.
Energy product exports rose 15.9 per cent to $8.5 billion, the highest value since November 2014. Crude oil was up 17.2 per cent to $5.7 billion, and natural gas exports were up 36.0 per cent to $1.1 billion. Overall, prices rose 16.5 per cent while volumes were down 0.6 per cent.
Exports of motor vehicles and parts were down 5.2 per cent to $7.4 billion, the lowest level since June 2015. Decline was led by passenger cars and light trucks, down 6.2 pre cent to $4.8 billion. For the section as a whole, volumes were down 3.9 per cent and prices decreased 1.4 per cent.
Exports of metal ores and non-metallic minerals decreased 12.6 per cent to $1.4 billion. Iron ores and concentrates were down 36.9 per cent to $254 million, and copper ores and concentrates decreased 30.2 per cent to $246 million. Overall, volumes were down 22.5 per cent while prices increased 12.8 per cent.