Top Canadian Trade Balances

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Niagara Falls

Trucks, auto parts or accessories, smartphones and other technology-related goods were major factors behind Canada’s highest product trade deficits during 2018. China and Mexico placed first and second respectively among trade partners with which Canada experienced the highest negative trade balances.

Canada’s overall trade deficit for all products equaled -US$11.8 billion in 2017, up by 112.9% from -$5.5 billion for 2010. Year over year, the most recent -$11.8 billion shortfall represents a -15.3% decrease from the -$13.9 billion deficit that Canada incurred during 2016 thanks in part to improving crude oil prices.

As of June 2018, Canada’s trade deficit stood at -$6.5 billion up 287.4% compared to the first 6 months of 2017.

Top Canadian Trade Balances by Product and Country

Product+

The following 10 leading products generated a surplus subtotal of $106.6 billion for Canada in its global trade during 2017. Metrics listed below highlight Canada’s strongest competitive advantages over worldwide trading partners.

  1. Crude oil: US$41.2 billion (Up 50.6% since 2010)
  2. Cars: $17.7 billion (Up 21.9%)
  3. Sawn wood: $7.9 billion (Up 77.4%)
  4. Gold (unwrought): $7.7 billion (Up 27.3%)
  5. Petroleum gases: $7.3 billion (Down -46.3%)
  6. Aluminum (unwrought): $6 billion (Up 8.6%)
  7. Wheat: $5 billion (Up 11.3%)
  8. Rape/colza seeds: $4.9 billion (Up 54.9%)
  9. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $4.5 billion (Down -6.2%)
  10. Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving): $4.2 billion (Down -9.6%)

The leading gainers for Canada’s product surpluses from 2010 to 2017 were exported sawn wood (up 77.4%), rape or colza seeds (up 54.9%) and crude oil (up 50.6%).

Positive trade balances for three top products were whittled down: petroleum gases slipped -46.3%, non-dissolving chemical woodpulp (down -9.6%) and coal including solid fuels made from coal (down -6.2%).

Product-

The 10 major products below accumulated a deficit subtotal of -$55.4 billion for Canada in international trade during 2017. Canada has demonstrated the severest competitive disadvantages in the exports and imports of the following commodities.

  1. Trucks: -US$13.6 billion (Up 28.3% since 2010)
  2. Automobile parts/accessories: -$10 billion (Up 10.7%)
  3. Phone system devices including smartphones: -$8.3 billion (Up 96.6%)
  4. Computers, optical readers: -$7.1 billion (Up 10.6%)
  5. Tractors: -$3.1 billion (Up 40.6%)
  6. Blood fractions (including antisera): -$3 billion (Up 265.2%)
  7. Heavy machinery (e.g. bulldozers, excavators): -$2.9 billion (Up 20.1%)
  8. Insulated wire/cable: -$2.8 billion (Up 19.9%)
  9. Piston engines: -$2.6 billion (Up 61.6%)
  10. Taps, valves, similar appliances: -$2.2 billion (Up 47.1%)

Canada’s red ink in global trade expanded at the fastest rate for the following products: blood fractions including antisera (up 265.2%), phone system devices including smartphones (up 96.6%) and piston engines (up 96.6%).

Country+

In 2017, Canada generated a surplus subtotal worth $108.5 billion with the following 10 trading partners.

  1. United States: US$97.6 billion (Up 6.3% since 2010)
  2. United Kingdom: $6.8 billion (Up 22.9%)
  3. Hong Kong: $1.4 billion (Down -3.7%)
  4. United Arab Emirates: $1.1 billion (Up 13.8%)
  5. Botswana: $373.8 billion (Reversing a -$3.1 million deficit)
  6. Latvia: $360.4 billion (Up 127.5%)
  7. Singapore: $269.8 billion (Reversing a -$293.8 million deficit)
  8. Pakistan: $261.2 billion (Down -3.2%)
  9. Bulgaria: $176.9 billion (Up 257.4%)
  10. Bahamas: $157.5 billion (Up 61.4%)

Canada was able to switch from red ink during 2010 to black ink for 2017 in its trade with Singapore and Botswana. Canada’s country-specific trade surplus with Bulgaria (up 257.4%) grew at the fastest pace since 2010, followed by trade surpluses with Latvia (up 127.5%) and the Bahamas (up 61.4%).

  • Canada’s surplus at the expense of its largest trade partner and southerly neighbor the United States accelerated by 6.3% over the 7-year period starting in 2010, and was up 13% from 2016 to 2017.

    Among the top 10 surplus countries, Canada’s positive net exports declined with two trade partners: Hong Kong (down -3.7%) and Pakistan (down -3.2%).

  • Country-

    Canada experienced a losing international trade relationship with over 98 countries (or territories). The following 10 trade partners created a -$91.5 billion deficit subtotal in 2017 from Canada’s exchange of exports and imports on global markets.

    1. China: -US$36.5 billion (Up 20.2% since 2010)
    2. Mexico: -$21.3 billion (Up 28.4%)
    3. Germany: -$10.6 billion (Up 45.8%)
    4. Italy: -$4.5 billion (Up 69.2%)
    5. Japan: -$4.4 billion (Up 6.3%)
    6. Vietnam: -$3.11 billion (Up 252.7%)
    7. Taiwan: -$2.9 billion (Up 11.1%)
    8. South Korea: -$2.7 billion (Up 14.3%)
    9. Brazil: -$2.3 billion (Up 226.2%)
    10. France: -$2.1 billion (Down -28.5%)

    Up 252.7%, Canada’s trade deficit with Vietnam expanded the greatest from 2010 to 2017. Canada’s negative net exports with Brazil swelled by 226.2% followed by 69.2% growth in the Canadian shortfall resulting from trade with Italy.

    Canada shrank the size of its negative trade balances with France via a -28.5% reduction over the 7-year period.




     
    See also Canada’s Top 10 Imports, Canada’s Top Trading Partners, Canada’s Top 10 Exports and Canada’s Top 10 Major Export Companies

    Research Sources:
    Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on February 12, 2018

    Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on February 12, 2018

    The World Factbook, Field Listing: World, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 12, 2018

    Wikipedia, Economy of Canada. Accessed on February 12, 2018