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--5 Things We Learned From Canadian Merchandise Trade Data
By Yali N'Diaye
     OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the April data 
on the Canadian merchandise trade data released Wednesday by Statistics 
     - The goods trade deficit narrowed to C$1.9 billion in April, while 
analysts in a MNI survey had expected a C$3.0 billion gap. The positive 
surprise was reinforced by the revision to March deficit estimate now at 
C$3.9 billion, revised from the C$4.1 billion initially reported. 
     - Exports rose for the third consecutive month, posting a 1.6% gain 
to a record C$48.6 billion. Volumes were up 1.2% after rising 3.5% in 
March and 1.1% in February. Imports fell 2.5% on the month, with volumes 
down 2.4%. Of note, imports of industrial machinery and equipment, an 
indicator of investment activity followed by the Bank of Canada, edged 
down 0.8% in April after rising 3.5% in March, with volumes down 0.2%. 
Imports of consumer goods fell 4.9%, with volumes down 4.7%. 
     - On a sector basis, six of 11 export sections posted gains, led by 
metal and non-metallic mineral products (+9.1%), consumer goods (+5.4%), 
and energy. As expected, higher oil prices benefited energy exports, 
which rose 2.3% on the month, mostly as a result of a price effect, as 
volumes edged up just 0.2%. 
     - Regionally, exports to the U.S. rose a further 3.2% after gains 
of 1.2% in March and 1.5% in February, while imports fell 1.4%, leading 
to a widening of the surplus with the U.S. to C$3.6 billion, the largest 
in almost a year. 
     - Statistics Canada provided some insight on tariffs on steel and 
aluminum products. In 2017, the export value of aluminum products that 
are now subject to the 10% U.S. tariffs was C$9.2 billion, representing 
1.7% of total Canadian exports of C$549.6 billion. The export value of 
steel products now subject to the 25% tariff was C$7.2 billion in 2017, 
representing 1.3% of total Canadian exports. 
--MNI Ottawa Bureau; email: 

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