Christian Sivière, President - Solimpex Montréal and Ottawa
Canada's merchandise trade balance with the world remained positive in June, posting a $136 million surplus, after the near-record surplus of $556 million in May, as exports of goods were down 5.1%, while imports were down 4.3%. Overall Canadian imports came to $50.2 billion, the lowest level since November 2018, with decreases observed in 9 of 11 product sections.
Canadian imports from the United States decreased 3.8%, while imports from other countries were down 5.2%, with lower imports from Germany (cars), Saudi Arabia (crude oil) and Mexico (various products) contributing the most to the widespread decrease.
These figures may vary substantially from month to month, due to exchange rate fluctuations, seasonal variations and large one-time contracts, so let’s look at the overall picture and the main commodities Canada has been importing from the UK.
Merchandise imports by Canada from the UK reached $9.2 billion in 2018, compared to $8.9 billion in 2017, a moderate 3% increase, and the ten top commodities imported were:
Vehicles, aircraft, vessels and associated transport equipment: $2.54 billion;
Machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical equipment and parts: $2.13 billion;
Products of the chemical and allied industries: $1.18 billion;
Mineral products: $1.09 billion;
Prepared foodstuffs; beverages and spirits; tobacco: $464 million.
Optical, photographic, measuring, checking, precisions, medical instruments and apparatus: $399 million;
Base metals and articles of base metals: $354 million;
Works of art, collector’s pieces and antiques: $253 million;
Plastics, rubber and articles thereof: $202 million;
Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal and articles thereof: $133 million.
As we saw earlier, Canadian exports to the UK are dominated by resource industries and semi-finished products but Canadian imports from the UK are much more diversified, the majority of which being manufactured goods. And will be interesting to see the evolution of our bilateral trade in these tumultuous times.