OTTAWA, Ont.–Canada’s exports posted another solid advance in July, up 2.3% for the second biggest monthly rise in over a year, almost piercing the all-time record high from July 2014 following the steep 5.5% growth in June.
Non-energy exports were up 4.0%, and overall volumes accounted for two-thirds of last month’s gain, up 1.5%. Imports rose 1.7% led by broad-based gains across sectors. On a year-to-date basis, exports remained 1.6% lower than a year ago, but most non-energy export categories continued to register solid foreign demand growth. The merchandise trade deficit narrowed from $811 million in June to $593 million in July, said the Export Development Canada report.
July exports increased in five of 11 broad categories led by large gains in aircraft and automotive products on strong volume gains, with the latter benefitting from very high auto sales in the U.S. and shorter scheduled shutdowns last month, followed by consumer goods, machinery and equipment, and agri-food products. On the downside, only metal ores and energy posted material declines, dragged by a weak pricing environment.
Robust demand for Canadian exports from China and the US was only partly offset by weaker demand from Europe and Japan. The fundamentals for the current upswing in Canada’s exports remain supported by the weaker Canadian dollar and the strong second-quarter rebound in the US economy. Ontario exports were solid for the month, lifted especially by higher shipments of automotive products.