Photo: Olivier Zuida The Duty
Exports of goods decreased by 4.7% to reach $ 46.3 billion, which represents the lowest value since January 2018.
The statistics of march have delivered their first reading of the consequences of the pandemic on the trade between Canada and other countries. Imports and exports have declined to their level of there are two to three years. “In march, although the borders remained open for goods, imports and exports have declined markedly, while the impact of measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 in Canada have become evident,” pointed out Statistics Canada, which is expected to deteriorate more sharply in April.
Exports of goods decreased by 4.7 % to reach $ 46.3 billion, which represents the lowest value since January 2018. Imports were down 3.5 per cent to reach $ 47.7 billion, a level that had not been observed since October, 2017. “From one year to another, the exports and imports decreased almost 10 %. Canada’s trade deficit widened to switch from $ 894 million in February to $ 1.4 billion in march, ” added the federal agency. In volume terms, exports declined by 4.8% in march and imports by 5.8 %.
The trade in services has been more shaken in march. “The value of exports of services decreased by 7.2 % during the month, while imports fell 11.5 %. The travel services and transportation are particularly affected, ” she said Benoit P. Durocher, senior economist at Desjardins group.
It is the decline in the volume of exports in march.
Effect of exchange rate
Statistics Canada said the decline of 3.6 US ¢of the canadian dollar between February and march, leaded by the fall in oil prices, has also had an identifiable impact on the trade balance.
“When expressed in us dollars, canadian exports fell 9.2% in march and imports, 8.1 %. Therefore, if the monthly exchange rate average has been relatively stable in march, imports and exports would probably have fallen more sharply. “
These data were dominated by production stoppages in the vehicle manufacturing industry, by a contraction of the trade in aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts and by a decline in exports of energy products under the effect of the plunge of the request. The trade with the United States is felt.
“The drop in trade with the United States is the main factor behind the reduction of imports and of total exports during the month,” said Statistics Canada, with exports to the United States declined by 4.9% and imports by fuck of 5.1 %.
These declines have, however, been mitigated by the weakness of the canadian currency, Canada’s trade surplus with the United States is slightly retracted to spend of $ 4 billion in February to $ 3.9 billion in march, ” adds the agency.
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In addition to the Pacific, imports from China fell 1.1% in march and exports to this country, of 2.3 %.
From year to year, imports from China have fallen from 32.9 % and the exports to this country, of 16.1% compared to march 2019.
Finally, for the whole of the first quarter, exports decreased by 3 %, ” which represents a third consecutive quarterly decline “, and imports were down 2 %, the fourth quarterly decrease in a row.
“On the side of both goods than from services, the balance of the first quarter indicates that the volume of imports decreased more than exports. This suggests that foreign trade will make a fairly positive contribution to the quarterly change in real GDP in the first quarter, ” said Benoit P. Durocher.
“That said, Statistics Canada has already indicated that the whole of the first quarter to see a decline in real GDP of about 2.6 %, or nearly 10 % on a quarterly annualized basis. It is, therefore, to say that the essential difficulties of the canadian economy is reflected in the domestic demand (consumer spending and investment. “
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