Canada’s Top Trading Partners

by Flagpictures.org

by Flagpictures.org

Nicknamed the Great White North, the Dominion of Canada shares its busy and extensive southern land border with its largest trading partner–the United States of America.

Canada shipped US$450.7 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar figure represents a -5.1% decline since 2014 but a 7.1% year-over-year increase from 2017 to 2018.

From a continental perspective, over three-quarters (76.4%) of Canadian exports by value were sent to its North American trade partners namely the United States and Mexico.

Asian importers purchased 12.3% worth while buyers in Europe consumed 8.5%. Smaller percentages were delivered to Latin America (1.4%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (0.8%) and Oceania (0.5%) led by Australia and New Zealand.

Canada’s Top Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing 15 of Canada’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Canadian shipments by dollar value during 2018. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Canadian exports.

  1. United States: US$338.2 billion (75% of total Canadian exports)
  2. China: $21.3 billion (4.7%)
  3. United Kingdom: $12.6 billion (2.8%)
  4. Japan: $10 billion (2.2%)
  5. Mexico: $6.3 billion (1.4%)
  6. South Korea: $4.5 billion (1%)
  7. Germany: $3.72 billion (0.8%)
  8. Netherlands: $3.67 billion (0.8%)
  9. India: $3.3 billion (0.7%)
  10. Hong Kong: $3 billion (0.7%)
  11. Belgium: $2.9 billion (0.6%)
  12. France: $2.7 billion (0.6%)
  13. Italy: $2.3 billion (0.5%)
  14. Norway: $1.9 billion (0.4%)
  15. Brazil: $1.7 billion (0.4%)

Over nine-tenths (92.8%) of Canadian exports in 2018 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Fourteen of these top trade partners increased their purchases from Canada year over year led by double-digit gains for: Hong Kong (up 75%), Netherlands (up 51.4%), Italy (up 32.9%), Brazil (up 27.9%), Norway (up 22%), China (up 17%), Germany (up 16.9%) then South Korea (up 10.6%).

The value of Canada’s shipments to its largest customer, the United States, expanded by 6% from 2017 to 2018.

The sole decliner in terms of consuming Canadian exports was the United Kingdom thanks to a -7.4% retreat.

For a complete listing, see the section Searchable Datalist of Countries Importing Canadian Exports near the bottom of this article.

Deficits

Canada incurred an overall -$9.1 billion trade deficit for 2018, down by -23.6% from the -$11.9 billion in red ink one year earlier.

As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.

It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.

Canada incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.

  1. China: -US$37 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2018)
  2. Mexico: -$22.1 billion
  3. Germany: -$11 billion
  4. Italy: -$4.6 billion
  5. Vietnam: -$3.3 billion
  6. Japan: -$3 billion
  7. Taiwan: -$3 billion
  8. France: -$2.9 billion
  9. South Korea: -$2.8 billion
  10. Brazil: -$2.5 billion

Among Canada’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Canadian deficits with France (up 34.2%), Brazil (up 10.2%) and South Korea (up 8.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Canada’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Canada to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.

Canada incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.

  1. United States: US$103.1 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2018)
  2. United Kingdom: $5.5 billion
  3. Hong Kong: $2.7 billion
  4. United Arab Emirates: $965.5 million
  5. Botswana: $597.5 million
  6. Latvia: $525.7 million
  7. Bahamas: $309.4 million
  8. Indonesia: $297 million
  9. Netherlands: $211.3 million
  10. Bahrain: $199.4 million

Among Canada’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances from a percentage perspective, Canadian surpluses with Bahrain (up 186.6%), Bahamas (up 96.4%) and Hong Kong (up 93.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

In addition, Canada transitioned from a -$669.1 million deficit in 2017 trading with the Netherlands to post a $211.3 million surplus during 2018. Canada also reversed -$79,000 in red ink by generating $297 million in black ink for the latest period trading with Indonesia.

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Canada’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Canada to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Companies Servicing Canadian Trading Partners

Almost 60 Canadian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Canadian companies that Forbes included:

  • Agrium (specialized chemicals)
  • Canadian Natural Resources (oil, gas)
  • Enbridge (oil services, equipment)
  • Husky Energy (oil, gas)
  • Magna International (auto parts, accessories)
  • Potash of Saskatchewan (specialized chemicals)
  • Suncor Energy (oil, gas)
  • Teck Resources (diversified metals)

According to Canadian Exports online directory, the following are examples of smaller entrepreneurial companies that ship products from Canada to its trading partners around the globe. Shown within parenthesis is the product category that the Canadian business specializes in.

  • A.S. Chemical Laboratories Inc. (pharmaceuticals)
  • Aerospace Metal Finishing Inc. (plated surface finishes)
  • Centennial Solar (solar panels)
  • C-I-L Explosives (specialty explosives)
  • Ciment Quebec Inc. (cement)
  • Control Skateboards (customized skateboards)
  • Cormer Group Industries Inc. (aircraft components)
  • Hi-Pro Feeds (animal nutrition products)
  • International Play Company (indoor/outdoor play structures)
  • Lafleur Industries Inc. (truck chassis, parts)
  • Netchem Inc. (specialized chemicals)
  • Seven Star Sports (designer safety helmets)


 

Searchable Datalist of Countries Importing Canadian Exports

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of any of the columns below. The right-most shows the percentage change in value for each importing country since 2017.

RankImporter2018 Canadian Exports (US$)2017-8
1. United States$338,231,152,000+6%
2. China$21,286,263,000+17%
3. United Kingdom$12,626,495,000-7.4%
4. Japan$9,991,190,000+9.7%
5. Mexico$6,345,607,000+4.8%
6. South Korea$4,522,267,000+10.8%
7. Germany$3,724,824,000+16.9%
8. Netherlands$3,665,894,000+51.4%
9. India$3,309,664,000+0.8%
10. Hong Kong$3,013,754,000+75%
11. Belgium$2,912,986,000+7.4%
12. France$2,656,163,000+1.3%
13. Italy$2,348,674,000+32.9%
14. Norway$1,851,808,000+22%
15. Brazil$1,689,769,000+27.9%
16. Spain$1,655,832,000+30%
17. Indonesia$1,654,930,000+24.1%
18. Australia$1,580,263,000+2.6%
19. Taiwan$1,534,352,000+17.6%
20. Saudi Arabia$1,450,434,000+30.4%
21. Switzerland$1,438,139,000-9.8%
22. United Arab Emirates$1,123,480,000-9%
23. Turkey$1,021,580,000+4.3%
24. Singapore$925,902,000-7.6%
25. Vietnam$810,194,000+0.1%
26. Colombia$776,307,000+34.6%
27. Chile$758,356,000+11.1%
28. Philippines$753,297,000+15.2%
29. Finland$658,354,000+31.1%
30. Malaysia$604,117,000+9.3%
31. Thailand$601,187,000+6.7%
32. Botswana$597,946,000+33.6%
33. Peru$581,688,000+6.5%
34. Poland$575,888,000+7.3%
35. Latvia$563,887,000+43%
36. Ireland$560,702,000+23.3%
37. Bangladesh$501,514,000-10.7%
38. Pakistan$470,414,000-18.5%
39. Sweden$447,073,000-24.5%
40. Russia$439,695,000-14.8%
41. New Zealand$411,932,000+7.8%
42. Algeria$393,998,000-27%
43. Israel$389,785,000+12.1%
44. Nigeria$360,291,000+7.3%
45. Morocco$352,722,000+16.4%
46. Cuba$330,093,000+5.6%
47. South Africa$316,313,000+15.9%
48. Bahamas$313,070,000+87%
49. Egypt$303,434,000+34.5%
50. Portugal$295,753,000+43.2%
51. Denmark$284,226,000-21.6%
52. Trinidad/Tobago$267,679,000+13.9%
53. Argentina$252,611,000-26%
54. Ecuador$242,381,000+1.2%
55. Bahrain$227,813,000+185%
56. Czech Republic$213,794,000+43.2%
57. Ghana$204,291,000+7.9%
58. Sri Lanka$196,510,000+21.7%
59. Austria$196,125,000-26.6%
60. Bulgaria$176,771,000-37.6%
61. Dominican Republic$170,572,000+33.2%
62. Ukraine$168,971,000-18.6%
63. Iceland$154,656,000+153.8%
64. Kuwait$154,552,000+20.9%
65. Romania$153,789,000+40.6%
66. Iraq$153,021,000+174.7%
67. Costa Rica$126,418,000+3.3%
68. Oman$125,875,000+87%
69. Croatia$124,828,000+258.6%
70. Panama$121,450,000+4.7%
71. Qatar$120,928,000-1%
72. Kenya$109,207,000-17.3%
73. Jamaica$101,629,000+7.3%
74. Ethiopia$99,644,000+45.7%
75. Curaçao$96,011,000+502.8%
76. Lebanon$90,430,000-6.8%
77. Guatemala$89,462,000+1.2%
78. Greece$88,321,000+18.5%
79. Kazakhstan$87,934,000-21.2%
80. Tanzania$85,947,000+93%
81. Malta$85,598,000-43.8%
82. Nepal$81,798,000+618%
83. Lithuania$81,554,000+39.6%
84. Iran$74,773,000-26.7%
85. Uruguay$72,117,000-2.1%
86. Hungary$71,882,000+27.4%
87. Venezuela$68,314,000-55.2%
88. Slovenia$65,400,000+11.5%
89. Cambodia$60,314,000+54.2%
90. Jordan$54,097,000-4%
91. Luxembourg$52,245,000-40.4%
92. Angola$50,531,000-18.9%
93. Haiti$49,997,000-13.3%
94. Cameroon$46,143,000+37.9%
95. Senegal$44,003,000+15.9%
96. New Caledonia$42,655,000-11.2%
97. Macao$40,653,000+73.2%
98. El Salvador$40,474,000-11.4%
99. Honduras$40,406,000+21.3%
100. Sudan$38,263,000+87.6%
101. Bermuda$37,301,000-4.9%
102. Burkina Faso$36,119,000-19.7%
103. Tunisia$35,542,000-15.7%
104. Mozambique$34,365,000+2.4%
105. Ivory Coast$33,281,000+11.8%
106. Libya$33,067,000+111.3%
107. Albania$30,206,000+62.1%
108. Syria$29,405,000+68.1%
109. Barbados$28,550,000+0.1%
110. Slovakia$27,057,000+7.6%
111. Myanmar$26,558,000-13.6%
112. Paraguay$24,384,000+21.2%
113. Benin$24,313,000+20.9%
114. Guyana$24,099,000+8.5%
115. Fiji$23,468,000+128.6%
116. Suriname$22,337,000-2.5%
117. Mongolia$21,446,000+1%
118. Nicaragua$21,177,000-32.7%
119. Papua New Guinea$21,112,000+152.4%
120. Afghanistan$20,240,000+15.9%
121. Bolivia$19,957,000-52%
122. Estonia$19,773,000+6.6%
123. Georgia$19,556,000-39.8%
124. Togo$18,926,000+70.8%
125. Uganda$18,659,000+2.2%
126. Cayman Islands$18,639,000-1.7%
127. Greenland$18,456,000+13.4%
128. Zambia$17,616,000+18.2%
129. Maldives$17,469,000-32.6%
130. Guinea$17,081,000+56.7%
131. Serbia$16,753,000+18.5%
132. Mauritania$16,715,000+3.2%
133. Mali$16,188,000-20.3%
134. Turkmenistan$14,577,000-37.3%
135. Madagascar$13,129,000+6%
136. Yemen$12,905,000+31.1%
137. US Minor Outlying Is.$12,805,000+14.4%
138. Congo$12,724,000-18.4%
139. French Polynesia$11,880,000+8.3%
140. Democr. Rep. Congo$11,641,000+12.5%
141. Gabon$11,390,000+39.1%
142. Namibia$11,360,000+511.1%
143. Cyprus$10,772,000+2.3%
144. Antigua/Barbuda$10,649,000+43.1%
145. St. Pierre/Miquelon$10,144,000-49.7%
146. Aruba$9,931,000+27.3%
147. Zimbabwe$9,454,000-6.2%
148. Azerbaijan$8,797,000-20.5%
149. Mauritius$8,747,000+78%
150. Kyrgyzstan$8,599,000+10.4%
151. Malawi$8,313,000-22%
152. Belize$8,251,000-31.4%
153. Armenia$8,007,000+11.4%
154. Burundi$7,386,000+515%
155. Dominica$7,172,000+53.6%
156. Sierra Leone$7,055,000+15.4%
157. Chad$6,820,000+104.2%
158. Saint Lucia$6,487,000-4.7%
159. Somalia$6,368,000+32.1%
160. Saint Kitts/Nevis$5,790,000-20.2%
161. Montenegro$5,675,000+36.8%
162. Grenada$5,665,000-26.3%
163. Belarus$5,323,000+129%
164. Djibouti$4,998,000+286.5%
165. Brunei Darussalam$4,979,000+101.9%
166. Uzbekistan$4,876,000-15.5%
167. Liberia$4,808,000+44.3%
168. North Macedonia$4,758,000+48.7%
169. Niger$3,722,000-8.7%
170. St Vincent/Grenadines$3,610,000-17.8%
171. British Virgin Islands$3,583,000-17.7%
172. Bosnia/Herzegovina$3,418,000+30.3%
173. Rwanda$3,366,000-15.3%
174. Tajikistan$3,274,000+43.9%
175. Seychelles$3,262,000-61.8%
176. Turks/Caicos Islands$3,124,000-25.8%
177. Moldova$2,813,000+116.1%
178. Laos$2,645,000-43.5%
179. Anguilla$2,581,000+45.1%
180. Eswatini$2,302,000-29.4%
181. Cabo Verde$2,173,000+21.1%
182. Equatorial Guinea$1,981,000-38.3%
183. Gambia$1,682,000-66.7%
184. Christmas Island$1,566,000+35.5%
185. French S./Antarctic Terr.$1,217,000+25.9%
186. Comoros$1,137,000+159%
187. Kiribati$975,000-14.8%
188. Cook Islands$933,000+465.5%
189. Eritrea$545,000+350.4%
190. Sao Tome/Principe$537,000+3,480%
191. Br. Indian Ocean Terr.$488,000+16,167%
192. Faroe Islands$383,000+60.9%
193. Lesotho$281,000+21.6%
194. Bhutan$260,000-36.3%
195. Cocos (Keeling) Is.$215,000+1,554%
196. Central African Rep.$213,000-7%
197. Solomon Islands$212,000-85.3%
198. Vanuatu$203,000-40.6%
199. Guinea-Bissau$175,000+108.3%
200. Falkland Is. (Malvinas)$171,000+2,038%
201. Norfolk Island$160,000+196.3%
202. Montserrat$155,000-61.1%
203. Andorra$147,000no change
204. Timor-Leste$144,000-40.5%
205. Gibraltar$117,000-99.8%
206. North Korea$106,000-37.6%
207. Tonga$101,000-80.8%
208. Western Sahara$72,000+260%
209. Wallis/Futuna Islands$54,000+390.9%
210. Saint Helena$48,000-66.2%
211. Samoa$32,000-65.6%
212.Pitcairn$24,000-52%
213.Niue$17,000-82.5%

 

See also Canada’s Top 10 Imports, Canada’s Top 10 Exports, Top Canadian Trade Balances and Canada’s Top 10 Major Export Companies

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 11, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on August 6, 2019

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on March 11, 2019

Canadian Exports online directory, Export Promotion Tool. Accessed on March 11, 2019

Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 11, 2019