Canada’s Top 10 Imports

Canada's Top 10 Imports

Canadian dollars

Canada imported US$403 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2016, up by 25.4% since 2009 but down by -3.9% from 2015 to 2016.

Canada’s top 10 imports accounted for almost two-thirds (64.6%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Canadian imports represent 2.4% of total global imports benchmarked at $16.473 trillion for 2015.

From a continental perspective, 59.1% of Canada’s total imports by value in 2016 were purchased from other North American countries. Asian trade partners were responsible for 23.3% of import sales to Canada while 12.8% worth originated from Europe.

Given Canada’s population of 35.4 million people, its total $403 billion in 2016 imports translates to roughly $11,400 in yearly product demand from every person in the country.

Canada’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Canada’s import purchases during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Canada. At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Canada’s number 1 imported product are motor cars followed by automotive parts and accessories then trucks.

  1. Vehicles: US$67.6 billion (16.8% of total imports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $61.8 billion (15.3%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: $39.6 billion (9.8%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $25.3 billion (6.3%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: $14.7 billion (3.7%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $11.9 billion (3%)
  7. Pharmaceuticals: $11.4 billion (2.8%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $10.5 billion (2.6%)
  9. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: $8.8 billion (2.2%)
  10. Articles of iron or steel: $8.4 billion (2.1%)

Vehicles had the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up 55.6% for the 7-year period starting in 2009.

In second place for improving import sales was the furniture, bedding, lighting, signs and prefab buildings category via its 41% gain. Close behind were Canadian imports of plastics which appreciated 38.2%.

Mineral fuels including oil represent the laggard among the top 10 Canadian imports, posting a -16.2% decline.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.

Vehicles

In 2016, Canadian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles:

  1. Cars: US$26.5 billion (up 55.3%)
  2. Automobile parts/accessories: $20.6 billion (up 56.6%)
  3. Trucks: $13 billion (up 72.4%)
  4. Tractors: $2.8 billion (up 59.9%)
  5. Trailers: $2.1 billion (up 49.5%)
  6. Special purpose vehicles: $658 million (up 23.8%)
  7. Public-transport vehicles: $613.2 million (up 7.3%)
  8. Motorcycles: $412.8 million (down -14.7%)
  9. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $255.7 million (up 11%)
  10. Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $221.7 million (up 7.6%)

Among these import subcategories, Canadian purchases of trucks (up 72.4%), tractors (up 59.9%) and automobile parts or accessories (up 56.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported vehicles among Canadian businesses and consumers.

Machinery

In 2016, Canadian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery:

  1. Computers, optical readers: US$7.8 billion (up 19.5%)
  2. Piston engines: $4.9 billion (up 70.9%)
  3. Turbo-jets: $4.5 billion (up 11.7%)
  4. Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $3.7 billion (up 158.2%)
  5. Miscellaneous machinery: $3.6 billion (up 217.5%)
  6. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $3 billion (up 32%)
  7. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $2.6 billion (up 53.9%)
  8. Liquid pumps and elevators: $2.4 billion (up 30.4%)
  9. Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $2.1 billion (up 25.5%)
  10. Piston engine parts: $2 billion (up 4.6%)

Among these import subcategories, Canadian purchases of miscellaneous machinery (up 217.5%), transmission shafts, gears and clutches (up 158.2%) and piston engines (up 70.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Canadian businesses and consumers.

Electronics

In 2016, Canadian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronics:

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: US$9 billion (up 64.6%)
  2. Insulated wire/cable: $3.4 billion (up 52.4%)
  3. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $1.9 billion (down -36.4%)
  4. Electrical converters/power units: $1.9 billion (up 22.2%)
  5. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $1.9 billion (down -38.7%)
  6. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $1.8 billion (up 16%)
  7. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $1.7 billion (up 104.2%)
  8. Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters: $1.6 billion (up 206.3%)
  9. TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras: $1.5 billion (down -1.8%)
  10. Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $1.3 billion (up 23.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Canadian purchases of electrical lighting/signaling equipment and defrosters (up 206.3%), electrical/optical circuit boards and panels (up 104.2%) and phone system devices including smartphones (up 64.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported energy among Canadian businesses and consumers.

Energy

In 2016, Canadian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of fuel-related exports:

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$11.1 billion (up 76.8%)
  2. Crude oil: $11 billion (down -40.8%)
  3. Petroleum gases: $1.9 billion (down -40.2%)
  4. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $490.2 million (down -48.4%)
  5. Petroleum oil residues: $319 million (down -32.9%)
  6. Electrical energy: $183.4 million (down -67.7%)
  7. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $167.3 million (up 55.1%)
  8. Coke, semi-coke: $148.8 million (up 132.8%)
  9. Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $49.7 million (down -36.1%)
  10. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $36.6 million (down -23%)

Among these import subcategories, Canadian purchases of coke and semi-coke (up 132.8%), processed petroleum oils (up 76.8%) and petroleum jelly and mineral waxes (up 55.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported fuel sources among Canadian businesses and consumers.



 
See also Canada’s Top Import Partners, Highest Value Canadian Import Products, Canada’s Top 10 Exports and Highest Value Canadian Export Products

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed February 11, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 11, 2017