Canada kicks off 2021 with consecutive trade surpluse

A Couche-tard convenience store at an Esso gas-station is seen in Montreal, Quebec on January 13, 2021. Canadian convenience store operator Couche-Tard said January 13, 2021 it had made a non-binding offer for Carrefour that values the French supermarket group at more than 16 billion euros ($19.5 billion).

AFP

OTTAWA - Canada posted a Can$1.0 billion (R11.5-billion) trade surplus in February, marking its first back to back surpluses in half a decade, the national statistical agency said on Wednesday.

The figure, down from a revised Can$1.2-billion surplus the previous month, however, missed analysts' forecasts.

Both imports and exports fell, Statistics Canada said in a statement, notably with countries other than the United States.

Exports to the its southern neighbor rose slightly in the month while imports fell, leading to a Can$6.8-billion trade surplus with the United States -- the largest since 2008.

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Statistics Canada said a global shortage of semiconductor chips had a "significant impact" on trade in motor vehicles as production in North America -- which relies on the component -- was scaled down.

Total exports fell 2.7-percent to Can$49.9 billion, led by unwrought gold, silver and platinum, motor vehicles and parts, and aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts.

This was partially offset by higher exports of natural gas, which more than doubled in February due to extreme weather in the southern United States and power outages in Texas.

Exports of crude oil and crude bitumen also rose for a fifth consecutive month.

Total imports, meanwhile, fell 2.4 percent to Can$48.8 billion as imports of refined petroleum products, diesel fuels and gasoline continued to tumble, and aircraft imports rose.

Source
AFP

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