Merchandise trade deficit more than doubles in April as exports plunge

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OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the country’s merchandise trade deficit in April more than doubled compared with March as exports fell to their lowest level in more than a decade.

The agency say the deficit rose to $3.3 billion in April compared with a deficit of $1.5 billion in March.

The increase came as exports fell 29.7 per cent to $32.7 billion in April as the steps take to slow the spread of the pandemic forced shutdowns in the manufacturing sector, retailers closed and energy prices fell.

Imports were down 25.1 per cent at $35.9 billion, their lowest level since February 2011.

Statistics Canada says the monthly declines in exports and imports, in both absolute value and percentage terms, were the biggest on record.

In volume terms, exports were down 19.9 per cent in April and imports fell 24.8 per cent.