Exports edged up to $42.5 billion in March. An increase in exports of motor vehicles and parts was mostly offset by a decline in energy products. Excluding energy products, exports increased 2.4% in March. Total exports declined 3.0% in the first quarter of 2015 from the fourth quarter of 2014. However, quarterly exports were up 0.6% in real (or volume) terms.
Exports of motor vehicles and parts increased 11.7% to $6.6 billion, as volumes rose 10.6%. Higher exports of passenger cars and light trucks, up 18.1% to $4.4 billion, were by far the largest contributor to the increase in the section.
Exports of energy products declined 8.9% to $6.9 billion. There were widespread decreases in exports among the commodity groupings in the section, led by refined petroleum energy products, down 29.7% to $855 million. Exports of natural gas (-16.2%) and crude oil and crude bitumen (-2.7%) also declined. For the section as a whole, prices fell 7.0% and volumes 2.1%.
Exports to countries other than the United States rose 4.2% to $11.1 billion. There were higher exports to Japan (+$210 million) and Switzerland (+$108 million). Exports to the United States declined 0.9% to $31.4 billion.
Imports rose to $45.5 billion in March, as 7 of 11 sections increased. Imports increased 0.6% in the first quarter of 2015 from the fourth quarter of 2014. However, quarterly imports were down 0.2% in real (or volume) terms.
Imports of consumer goods were up 7.9% to $10.0 billion in March, the fourth consecutive monthly increase. The increase in March was widespread throughout the section, as 16 of its 20 commodity groupings advanced. The main contributors were clothing, footwear and accessories (+21.1%) and miscellaneous goods and supplies (+6.9%). Overall, volumes were up 6.7% and prices 1.1%.
Imports of motor vehicles and parts increased 3.7% to $7.9 billion. All commodity groupings within this section rose. Passenger cars and light trucks led the increase, up 5.7% to $3.4 billion. For the section as a whole, volumes rose 3.9%.
Meanwhile, aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts declined 8.4% to $1.6 billion, following two consecutive monthly increases. Lower imports of aircraft were the main contributor, down 36.0% to $374 million.
Imports from countries other than the United States increased 10.0% to $16.3 billion in March, on higher imports from China (+$902 million). Imports from the United States fell 1.7% to $29.3 billion.
As a result, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States widened from $4.2 billion in February to $5.2 billion in March. Canada's trade surplus with the United States widened from $1.9 billion in February to $2.2 billion in March.