Canadian trade deficit grew in October as oil prices weighed on exports

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OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the country’s merchandise trade deficit increased to roughly $1.2 billion in October compared with $891 million in September as a drop in energy prices weighed on exports.

Economists had expected a deficit of $700 million, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Total exports fell 1.2 per cent in October to $49.3 billion, despite increases in seven of 11 sections, as exports of energy products fell 12.4 per cent to $8.8 billion in October, due in large part to a 15.4 per cent drop in crude oil prices. Exports excluding energy products were up 1.6 per cent.

Total imports fell 0.6 per cent to $50.5 billion in October as seven of 11 sections moved lower, led by motor vehicles and parts, and basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products.

Imports of motor vehicles and parts fell 3.5 per cent to $9.1 billion in October, while the basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products group dropped 4.5 per cent to $4.0 billion.

In volume terms, exports increased 1.2 per cent as lower energy prices led to a 2.3 per cent drop in total export prices. Real imports were essentially unchanged.

The Canadian Press

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